Annual walk brings awareness to local child abuse prevention |

Annual walk brings awareness to local child abuse prevention

Christine Kuklica
The annual Pinwheels to Prevention walk begins from Millennium Park on Saturday at 9 a.m.

Pinwheels for Prevention will hold its annual walk Saturday beginning at Millennium Park to bring awareness to child abuse prevention.

The walk is free and registration for it will begin at 8:30 a.m. with the walk commencing at 9 a.m. The first 125 participants will be given a free T-shirt, although, all participants are given pinwheels to place in the ground at Fox Peak, which is the final destination of the walk. After the walk participants are invited to Oats Park to celebrate Earth Day.

Last year about 60 residents participated in the walk that ended at Fox Peak by placing pinwheels in the grass next to the fountain.

Family Specialist Lori Lombardo at FRIENDS Family Resource Center said she has been happy with the turnout the past couple of years and expects another great turnout this year. She said FRIENDS partnered with the Fallon Paiute-Shoshone Tribe this year.

Lombardo said the Pinwheels for Prevention brings awareness to help prevent child abuse. She said it is a national effort supported by thousands of cities.

Karen Stoll, coordinator for FRIENDS, said the event has been taking place in Fallon for five years.

“The pinwheels planted in our community during April symbolize the happy healthy childhoods all children deserve,” Lombardo said. “They also remind us of our ongoing responsibility to ensure every child has an equal opportunity for healthy growth and development. Whether our children will achieve their full potential as healthy, productive members of our community depends largely on each of us. Learn about the needs of children and families in our community, get involved in their lives and speak up on their behalf. Together we can build a bright and prosperous future — one child at a time.”

Lombardo said local agencies have banded together to help spread the word about child abuse prevention.

“We’re able to help people in need,” Lombardo said. “A lot of times abuse is brought on by people who are in need of certain items, maybe they need food or something. The family structure is stressed out and they take it out on everybody … so we bring awareness to different entities around town and help them realize that there are places for them to go and get help.”

Lombardo said in the past the pinwheels represented awareness of child abuse prevention.

“Now, the pinwheels represent prevention awareness,” Lombardo said. “We don’t want to bring awareness to the abuse; we want to bring awareness to the prevention and how to prevent it from happening.”

Lombardo said it is important to bring more interest to this growing problem. She said bringing recognition to the cause would help lower the number of children who get abused.

“Our goal is to prevent child abuse,” Stoll said. “We want to offer other alternatives for what is going on. We’re here to celebrate children and to make sure they do not become abused or neglected and we think educating the public is the best way to do that.”