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Child abuse awareness denoted by ‘going blue’

<p><strong></strong>CASA volunteer Rebecca Gibbons with a bow to be tied on the lawn at the Crawford County Courthouse.</p>

CASA volunteer Rebecca Gibbons with a bow to be tied on the lawn at the Crawford County Courthouse.

<p><strong></strong>Volunteer coordinator B.J. Lea with State Sen. Bruce Holland (left) and Circuit Judge Mike Medlock.</p>

Volunteer coordinator B.J. Lea with State Sen. Bruce Holland (left) and Circuit Judge Mike Medlock.

<p>photo by KENNETH FRY</p><p>Bow for children</p><p>State Sen. Bruce Holland (left) and Circuit Judge Mike Medlock tie a blue bow on a lamp post at the Crawford County Courthouse Wednesday in recognization of Child Abuse Prevention Month. The event was organized by Court Appointed Special Advocates of Crawford County.</p>

photo by KENNETH FRY

Bow for children

State Sen. Bruce Holland (left) and Circuit Judge Mike Medlock tie a blue bow on a lamp post at the Crawford County Courthouse Wednesday in recognization of Child Abuse Prevention Month. The event was organized by Court Appointed Special Advocates of Crawford County.

<p style="text-align: left;"><strong></strong>Crawford County Sheriff’s Deputy Donnie Threet places a bow on a Main Street lamp post.</p>

Crawford County Sheriff’s Deputy Donnie Threet places a bow on a Main Street lamp post.

<p>Daphene Richmond puts a bow on the door of Volunteers for Literacy on Main Street.</p>

Daphene Richmond puts a bow on the door of Volunteers for Literacy on Main Street.

<p>A Main Street lamp post gets a ribbon courtsey of Phyllis Kerby.</p>

A Main Street lamp post gets a ribbon courtsey of Phyllis Kerby.

Volunteers and board members for CASA of Crawford County along with state and local elected officials gathered on the courthouse lawn Wednesday to “go blue” to stress the importance of National Child Abuse Prevention Month.

“This is a month I wish we did not have to gather for,” Van Buren Mayor Bob Freeman said. “It’s an issue we all wish we did not have to face.”

Fortunately, Freeman said, there are people like CASA volunteers who care and step up to make a difference in the lives of abused and neglected children.

“Lives can be turned around for the good through education, awareness and understanding which is one purpose of National Child Abuse Prevention Month,” he said.

State Sen. Bruce Holland announced he had set aside $10,000 of his general improvement funds for Court Appointed Special Advocates of Crawford county.

CASA is a nonprofit network supporting and promoting court appointed volunteer advocacy for abused and neglected children in Crawford County.

The mission of CASA of Crawford County is to recruit, train, and support volunteer advocates who will serve to ensure safe and permanent homes for the abused and neglected children that enter into foster care in the county.

“A CASA volunteer is the the only constant in a foster child’s life,” said Juvenile Judge Mike Medlock. “A CASA volunteer most always will bring a smile to a foster child’s face.”

Medlock said the CASA volunteer also provides a service to the court “by being the child’s best friend.”

He said one child in foster care is one too many, but unfortunately child abuse is not going away and has to be dealt with.

Following the brief ceremony, volunteers placed blue ribbons and bows on the courthouse lawn, along Main Street and at the Veterans Park and Municipal Complex.

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