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Child Abuse Awareness events planned

By Erin Smith

Pinwheels are starting to make their appearance around Bladen County in honor of Child Abuse Awareness Month. Jill Sampson, with the Bladen County Department of Social Services, encourages all county residents and business owners to plant a Pinwheel Garden as a reminder to everyone to help prevent Child Abuse. Also, there will be a Child Abuse Awareness Day event on April 27 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the Bladen County Courthouse in Elizabethtown.

There is a contest taking place for the most creative Pinwheel Garden and entries in the contest are due by April 19, 2019.  Sampson said to be creative in your design and the sizes of pinwheels you choose. You can also use blue ribbons in your entries as well. Blue is the color that represents Child Abuse Awareness, according to Sampson. The winner of the Pinwheel Garden Contest will be announced on Saturday, April 27, during the Child Abuse Awareness event.

“Certificates will be issued to everyone who submits entries,” said Sampson. “Some folks choose to have a simple pinwheel garden and others go all out with different sized pinwheels and ribbons.”

Anyone who wants to participate in the pinwheel garden and ribbon contest can simply take a photograph of your entry and email it to

The pinwheel garden contest is not the only event marking Child Abuse Awareness month. On Saturday, April 27, there will be a Child Abuse Awareness event beginning at 10 a.m. on the front lawn of the Bladen County Courthouse. At 12 noon, there will be a Child Abuse Arenas Walk that will begin at San Jose Restaurant and end at the courthouse.

“I’d love to see our walk grow this year,” said Sampson.

Anyone can take part in the walk, no pre-registration is required. Sampson said a shuttle will be available at the courthouse to transport walkers to San Jose Restaurant for the walk or you can meet other walkers at the restaurant.

Sampson said at the courthouse there will be vendors, bounce houses, face painting, nail painting and information booths.  At the close of the event, the names of the children who lost their lives to child abuse or neglect will be read aloud and butterflies will be released in their honor.  Families First, Inc. have provided the butterflies for the event, said Sampson.

If you would like to be a vendor, there is still time. You can email Sampson at or call her at 910-862-6829 to reserve your space.

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