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Child Abuse Awareness Day Celebrated on Ava Square Friday

Members of the community gathered on the Ava City square Friday afternoon, April 13, to recognize Child Abuse Awareness Day in Missouri.

Students from the Ava Elementary School attended the event and planted a Pinwheel Garden north of the gazebo to remember victims of child abuse.

Students from Ava Middle School recognized Mayor Eddie Maggard and County Presiding Commissioner Larry Pueppke for proclaiming April 13 Child Abuse Awareness Day in both the City of Ava and Douglas County. Ms. Michelle Wolfskill and choir students from Ava High school performed Taylor Swift’s song “Mean.”

Suzanne Cooney, RN, of the Douglas County Health department, organizer of this year’s event, spoke with the children about child abuse. Other speakers included “Spanky” from Bikers Against Child Abuse and Officer Brad Loveless from the Douglas County Sheriff’s Department.  Officer Loveless introduced the attendees to his partner, Caesar, the Sheriff Department’s K-9.

The annual event is held the second Friday in April to promote awareness of the issue of child abuse.  Partners for this year’s event included the Douglas County Health Department, CHART, Community Partnership of the Ozarks and Bikers Against Child Abuse.  Representatives from the Kiwanis and the Ava R-1 School District were also in attendance.

The Pinwheel garden will remain on the square until the end of April.

(Article and Photographs by Javan Cooney)