Up & Coming Weekly

April 04, 2023

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM 16 UCW APRIL 5 - 11, 2023 EVENTS April is Child Abuse Prevention Month by ASHLEY SHIRLEY Every year in April for the last 13 years, Fayetteville and surrounding areas have been festooned with bright blue pinwheels in honor of Child Abuse Pre- vention Month. e pinwheels represent "the bright future every child deserves to have," Faith Boehmer, Prevention and Volunteer Coordinator for the Child Advocacy Center of Fayetteville, explained. As they spin and flash, the pinwheels remind all who see them that not every child grows up in a secure, stable or nur- turing environment. According to the American Society for the Positive Care of Children, over 4 million child maltreatment reports were made in 2021 involving over 7.2 million children. Of that number, only 2.9 children received prevention and post-response services. ough the numbers are smaller, they are no less startling when viewed a bit closer to home. "In 2021-2022, we had 808 [child abuse] referrals," Boehmer shared. "Of that, 569 cases were followed by forensic interviews. ough our cases have doubled over the past 14 years, so have our efforts to educate the community." To bring awareness to the very real issue of child abuse and neglect in Cumberland County, the CAC has launched a month-long campaign to inform the community about resources, support and preven- tion. As April gets underway, concerned community members can show their support in a number of ways. Community Pinwheel Kits containing 25 pinwheels and a yard sign are available on the CAC website for $50. Pinwheel vases, pins, jewelry and decals are also available for sale. All purchases must be made through the CAC website and picked up from the office during regular office hours. A portion of all sales supports the CAC and its continued effort to be "a voice for the children." ere are seven scheduled pinwheel plant- ings around Cumberland County throughout April to increase the visibility of this ongoing crisis. Cumberland County Schools, Fayetteville State University, FTCC, the Town of Spring Lake, Method- ist University, and the Town of Hope Mills will each hold a ceremony to plant 400 pinwheels in high- traffic areas to show their support for abused and neglected children. Fayetteville is also encouraged to #ShopBlue- Downtown for child abuse awareness in April. Twenty downtown merchants are raising aware- ness and funds on behalf of the CAC by offering special blue-colored items at a discount on select days throughout the month. A full list of participat- ing merchants can be found on the CAC website, https://www.cacfaync.org/. On ursday, April 20, Cumberland County and Fort Bragg community partners will host their Annual Child Abuse Summit from 8 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. at the John D. Fuller Sr. Recreational/Athletic Complex on Old Bunce Road in Fayetteville. is year's summit will cover topics such as the dangers of sexting, human trafficking, the WORTH Court, the integration of clinical hypnosis and child abuse, and other areas of concern. Filmmaker and child sexual abuse survivor, Sasha Neulinger, will be featured on the panel's list of speakers to screen and discuss his documentary "Rewind" about the traumatic abuse he suffered at the hands of a family member. e free summit is designed with professionals who work with at-risk children. For more information and a full list of activities, speakers and programs, visit https://www.cacfaync. org/. Blue pinwheels will be on display around Cumberland County this month to bring awareness to Child Abuse Prevention Month. (Photo by Edmund Garman) ASHLEY SHIRLEY, Staff Writer. COMMENTS? Editor@upandcomin- gweekly.com. 910-484-6200 Health and Wellness Expo offers information and fun by ASHLEY SHIRLEY Cape Fear Valley Health Foundation and Methodist University are teaming up this year to celebrate health and wellness along the tranquil banks of the Cape Fear River. e second annual Step Up 4 Health and Wellness Expo will take place on Saturday, April 15, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Methodist University's campus. An expansion of Cape Fear Valley Health Foundation's long-standing Ribbon Walk, the expo, presented by Cumulus Media, was introduced last year and held at Festival Park. "is year's move to Methodist University's campus is an exciting op- portunity to reach more people in the community and have more patients benefit from the event," said Kristen Carpenter, Cape Fear Valley Health's Development Coordinator for Com- munity Engagement. Continuing in the tradition of the Ribbon Walk, registrants can sign up to participate in either a one mile race or a 4K (around 2.5 miles), which will send them on a course through Methodist University's beautifully landscaped, 600-acre campus. e fundraiser, which brought in more than $70,000 last year, offers support to various services directly impacting the lives of patients in the community. Opening ceremonies for the walk will kick off at 9:30 a.m., followed by a survivor's lap. All survivors are welcome and encouraged to join. Both the walk and the expo will officially begin at 10 a.m. e Health Expo, located at the university's newly-renovated Duggins Soccer Stadium, is free and open to the public. e family-friendly community event promises to have a little bit of everything. Attendees are in for a fun and informative afternoon with around 60 vendors and booths from various community organizations and Cape Fear Valley Health service lines. During the expo, participants will have an opportunity to learn hands-on CPR, get wellness checks, and snag a goodie bag or two. e hope is that people will leave just a bit healthier and more informed than they came. With a Healthplex membership raffle, kid's area, music, food trucks, and some pulse-pumping Zumba — the expo has all the makings of a fun Saturday out with the family. "It's a great opportunity for the com- munity to come out and learn more about the different services we offer, get their wellness checked, and learn more about other organizations in the community as well," Carpenter com- mented. e registration fee to either walk or run is $30, and all participants will receive a T-shirt. Participants can register as individuals or as teams representing various organizations, local businesses or in remembrance of a loved one. Registrants can stick to tradition and apply their registration fee to Friends of the Cancer Center or to support the following: Children's Services, the Community Alternatives Program, Cumberland County Medication Access Program, or Heart Care. e fee can be split amongst all of these service lines as well. ere is no cost or registration to attend the Wellness Expo. To register for the walk, visit www. cfvfoundation.org/stepup4health. Methodist University is located at 5400 Ramsey Sreet. ASHLEY SHIRLEY, Staff Writer. COMMENTS? Editor@upandcomin- gweekly.com. 910-484-6200

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