Jessica Mathews /

A community event tomorrow afternoon will mark Child Abuse Prevention Month and honor the 2024 Champions for Children.

LACASA’s Child Abuse Prevention or CAP Council will host the annual “Plant a Pinwheel” event and present this year’s Champions for Children awards. The blue pinwheel symbolizes the happy and safe childhood every child deserves.

The event will feature LACASA staff, board members, and advocates, along with guest speakers and musical performances by the Voyager Elementary School children’s choir.

The event kicks off at noon at the Howell Carnegie District Library. It’s free and open to the public.

Traditionally, LACASA’s CAP Council has planted bright blue and silver pinwheel gardens throughout Livingston County to recognize Child Abuse Prevention Month in April but that’s not happening this year.

LACASA’s Director of Family Prevention and Education Holly Naylor said “The CAP Council has been concerned about the financial cost and environmental impact of purchasing disposable plastic pinwheels with chemical dyes for years. To be better stewards of our resources and environment, we have decided to move away from single-use pinwheels.”

In lieu of disposable pinwheels, the CAP Council held a pinwheel coloring page contest and a “Guess the Location” contest with a pop-up pinwheel display at locations around the county.

Meanwhile, April marks Child Abuse Prevention Month. At least 1 in 7 children have experienced child abuse or neglect in the past year in the United States, according to national statistics. However, the non-profit says that is likely an underestimate because many cases are un-reported. In 2020, 1,750 children died of abuse and neglect in the United States.

LACASA provides comprehensive, wrap-around services under one roof for victims and survivors of child abuse, domestic violence and sexual assault. The agency’s Sexual Assault Response Center offers confidential forensic exams in a private setting, which are conducted by specially-trained Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners. In addition, victims and survivors have access to shelter, counseling, legal advocacy, and critical support programs.