Pinwheels for Prevention raises awareness

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Neighbors | Zack Shively.The Boardman jazz II ensemble has performed at the Pinwheels for Prevention several times. This year, they played a series of jazz standards and closed their performance with a version of "With a Little Help From My Friends" based on Joe Cocker's rendition of The Beatles song at Woodstock. Pictured, the group played the National Anthem.

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Neighbors | Zack Shively.The East High School Junior ROTC presented the colors and recited the Pledge of Allegiance for the event. They also received the Community Spotlight Award for their assistance in helping the Pinwheels for Prevention events for the last seven years.

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Neighbors | Zack Shively.The Pinwheels for Prevention event on April 13 aimed to raise awareness for child abuse and neglect prevention, but the organizers also wanted to celebrate the 2280 people who have advocated for children in the area.

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Neighbors | Zack Shively.Akron Children’s Hospital Mahoning Valley’s Child Advocacy Center and Mahoning County Children Services had their 13th Annual Pinwheels for Prevention event at Holiday Inn on April 13. Pictured, Andrea Mistovich, with the advocacy center, made the opening remarks for the event.

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Neighbors | Zack Shively.Reverend Lewis Macklin gave the invocation to the Pinwheels for Prevention event at Holiday Inn. The program also featured keynote speaker David Kohout, Bikers Against Child Abuse, Boardman jazz II band and a mayoral proclamation given by the city parks director. Pictured is Macklin giving the invocation.

By ZACK SHIVELY

zshively@vindy.com

The Holiday Inn hosted the 13th annual Pinwheels for Prevention event on April 13 to raise awareness for child abuse and neglect prevention.

Akron Children’s Hospital Mahoning Valley’s Child Advocacy Center and Mahoning County Children Services join together each year for the event during National Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Month in April. This year’s event included speakers from each agency as well as speakers from other organizations. They use pinwheels for the event because it is the national representation of child abuse prevention.

Jennifer Kollar of Mahoning County Children Services said child abuse and neglect are serious problems, but the program allowed them to celebrate the 2280 people who advocated for children in Mahoning County. They use the time to show support to the children as well.

The program featured an invocation by Reverend Lewis Macklin, performances by the Boardman jazz II ensemble, a mayoral proclamation, a community spotlight award and keynote speaker David Kohout.

Kohout, the founder and executive director of Talk is Cheap and author of “Standing in the Presence of Greatness,” spoke about the greatness in children, as he does through his nonprofit organization Talk is Cheap. He believes that we need to help the “future beaker bumpers,” or the future generation.

Kollar presented the community spotlight award to East High School’s Junior ROTC program to recognize their commitment to the organizations during National Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Month.

For the last seven years, they have helped plant pinwheels in Boardman Park at the beginning of April to help raise awareness of child abuse, often in harsh weather including as snow and heavy rain. They also have done a presentation of the national colors and lead the Pledge of Allegiance during the Pinwheels for Prevention events.

Along with the East Junior ROTC, the BHS jazz band has performed at the event in several, nonconsecutive years. Director Thomas Ruggieri said he feels honored to perform at the event. They played the National Anthem at the beginning of the event and several songs later in the program.

He said it is always difficult to choose music for the event, but this year he knew how he wanted to close the performance. During the marching season, the band played a portion of “With a Little Help From My Friends,” based on Joe Cocker’s performance at Woodstock. He arranged a full version of the song for the event.

The event also featured Bull, the President of the Erie Shores Chapter of Bikers Against Child Abuse (BACA), and Dawn Turnage, city parks director. Bull spoke on behalf of BACA and presented the “Biker’s Creed.” Turnage gave the mayoral proclamation for Mayor Jamael Tito Brown, who could not attend event.

Andrea Mistovich of the Akron Children’s Hospital Mahoning Valley’s Child Advocacy Center made the opening remarks and Kollar gave the closing remarks. Mistovich said she wants the event to show that each person can help prevent child abuse.

Kollar and Mistovich organize the event each year. Citizens can advocate on behalf of a child they know or suspect is suffering abuse or neglect by contacting either of the organizations.

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