More than $1,400 raised to fight child abuse

Published 8:37 am Wednesday, April 6, 2011

FRANKLIN—More than $1,400 was raised during Saturday’s No Excuse for Child Abuse Awareness Walk sponsored by GFWC Franklin Junior Woman’s Club.

More than 200 participated in the 1.5-mile walk through downtown Franklin.

Money was raised from the sale of Awareness Walk T-shirts and pinwheels, the symbol for April Child Abuse Prevention Month. Proceeds will support child abuse prevention programs for the City of Franklin and Southampton County.

“I am so proud of those who came together in an effort to raise awareness for child abuse prevention in our community,” said Awareness Walk Co-chairwoman Erin Belt.

Other sponsors were Southampton High School Key Club, WLQM, The Children’s Center, Dr. Maria Ona, Dr. Dylan Belt, Smart Beginnings, Southampton County and Franklin departments of social services, Blackwater Outfitters and Food Lion in Courtland.

Following the walk at Barrett’s Landing, the Franklin Juniors co-hosted Day in the Park with the Key Club and Downtown Franklin Association. The free event offered entertainment and educational activities for children.

Sponsors included Bronco Federal Credit Union, Nucor and State Farm-Bryan Fentress and Patty


In addition to moon bounces and games, Key Club volunteers hosted story times and healthy movement events. Booths provided by community organizations provided children with animals to interact with as well as planted seeds that could be taken home along with hand-crafted puppets.

Favorites among the children were the costumed characters Biscuit and Wild Thing and Friends. Eddie the Eagle taught the importance of gun safety.

“The kids that came to Day in the Park had a great time running and playing, winning prizes, and making crafts, while still learning how to stay safe and healthy,” said Kristen Cooke, vice president of Key Club and student chairperson for Day in the Park.