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521 pinwheels for abused children
PACT, DHR place items in park to represent cases in Morgan

By Paul Huggins 340-2395

On Monday 521 pinwheels poked out of a flowerbed at Cotaco Park.

But their purpose wasn't what you'd expect for the spinning toys.

As part of Child Abuse Prevention Month, Parents and Children Together and the Morgan County Department of Human Resources put the pinwheels there to represent the number of child abuse cases reported in Morgan County in 2006.

In addition to the 521 pinwheels in the garden, 39 giant pinwheels placed in planters represented the number of Alabama children killed from abuse or neglect in 2006.

The pinwheels will be at Adventure Park the rest of the month.

Community events

Local residents can participate in two events this month to strengthen the community against child abuse and neglect.

The first is the fifth annual Child Safety Conference at Decatur Baptist Church on April 19.

Beth Holloway Twitty, mother of the Mountain Brook teen who disappeared in Aruba in 2005, will be the opening speaker. Sheriff Jeffrey Dawsy of Citrus County, Fla., also will present information about the kidnapping, assault and murder of Jessica Lunsford in 2005 and the arrest and trial of John Couey.

Registration is $25 if received by April 12 and $35 afterward. Lunch is included.

To sign up or for more information, call the Mental Health Association in Morgan County at 353-1160.

The second event is Family Fun Day, an annual fundraiser for PACT, scheduled for April 28 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Rhodes Ferry Park.

The Diaper Derby and Toddler Trot return this year, and organizers added a children's race. PACT requests a $5 donation for each competition. Other activities include live musical entertainment, inflatable rides, games, children's art village, tethered hot-air balloon ride and woodworking crafts presented by The Home Depot.

Last year's event raised $40,000, and the goal this year is $50,000.

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