Pinwheels Will Spin Against Child Abuse

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About 2,500 pinwheels will be placed at six law enforcement agencies in Benton County Monday (April 1) after a ceremony at Dave Peel Park in Bentonville.

Each pinwheel represents one of the 432 confirmed child abuse cases in Benton County in 2012. The Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) of Benton County along with volunteers will place 432 pinwheels at each location.

"I think putting those pinwheels out really makes a connection for people," said Beverly Engle, CAC executive director.

Pinwheels are a symbol of child abuse, and it’s a reminder of the bright future they deserve.

"It relates to us in the sense that that's what we are trying to do is restore that wonder and that delight," said Beverly Engle, CAC executive director.

Keith Eoff, Rogers Detective, has worked with the CAC for 12 years. He said he hopes with awareness Benton County child abuse cases will decrease.

"Hopefully we can get that number down but the good thing about it is that number also represents that those kids are safe now and they are getting the help that they need," Eoff said.

Eoff said reporting abuse is crucial and said the community can’t ignore it.

Some people say, "That's not my family, that's not my problem, well it is your problem because it's a vicious cycle," Eoff said.

Detective Eoff listens to the young victims through a monitor in a separate room while a forensic interviewer meets with the child. He can sometimes be joined by a state trooper, prosecutor and DHS representative.

Eoff hopes each pinwheel sends a powerful message.

"I think it represents hope that people are getting educated on child abuse," Eoff said.

The pinwheels spin in the wind serving as a colorful reminder to protect children.

"Whether it is a parent or a grandparent or a school teacher, we have to become aware and we have to be aware of what the dangers are," Engle said.

Pinwheels for Prevention starts at 12 p.m. with a proclamation by Judge Bob Clinard declaring April as Child Abuse Awareness Month. The First Baptist Christian School Choir will perform. The guest speaker will be Sen. Cecil Bledsoe. In attendance will be Mayor Bob McCaslin, Benton County Sheriff Kelley Cradduck as well as every Chief of Police.

The pinwheel locations will be: Benton County Sheriff’s Dept., Bentonville Police Dept., Rogers Police Dept., Bella Vista Police Dept., Pea Ridge Police Dept., and Little Flock Police Dept.

One April 3rd, the CAC will also will kick off a new event with Orangeleaf Yogurt in Rogers. Orangeleaf will begin selling pinwheels 2 for $3, one to be placed out in front, and one to keep.

On April 19th, the CAC will have its annual Glow Run 5k event at the Frisco Stage at Downtown Rogers. Click here to register.