Community Announcements

Child Advocacy Center of Putnam to Mark Child Abuse Prevention Month

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The Child Advocacy Center of Putnam County (CAC) and the Friends of Putnam Child Advocacy Center will promote child abuse awareness throughout April, which is National Child Abuse Prevention Month.

The CAC will hold various activities, including the seventh annual Champions for Children Breakfast. This event will take place at the Putnam County Golf Course located at 187 Hill Street in Mahopac on April 11. This year’s breakfast will feature transformational speaker, victim advocate, author, and CEO of the Twelve Project, Kevin McNeil. McNeil is a renowned speaker who shares lessons from his own life experiences that change, motivate, and inspire an individual’s mindset and potential.

The 2023 Champion for Children award is being presented to Town of Kent Police Chief’s Kevin Owens. With more than 28 years with the Town of Kent Police Department, Owen’s commitment to protecting children has been a hallmark of his service to the community.

This year, the Friends of Putnam Child Advocacy Center will be kicking off a new fundraiser, “Blue Jeans for Kids,” where everyone is encouraged to donate as little as $1 and dress down by wearing denim to work on Friday, April 21. All funds donated will go directly to the Friends of Putnam Child Advocacy Center to help support children seen at the CAC. The Putnam County Courthouse will be lit blue on specified days throughout the month. According to Putnam County Executive Kevin Byrne: “Preventing child abuse and neglect is a shared obligation and my office is committed to ensuring that every child has a chance to succeed and grow up in a safe and nurturing home. We look forward to lighting the courthouse blue to kicking off the month and promoting awareness.”

The Child Advocacy Center’s “Pinwheels for Prevention” campaign will run throughout the month of April. “Pinwheels are a happy and uplifting token of childhood,” said CAC Program Director Marla Behler. “They are meant to convey that every child deserves the chance to be raised in a healthy, safe and nurturing environment.”  On Friday, March 31, the CAC continued its tradition of planting the large community pinwheel garden in front of the Sybil Ludington Statue at Lake Gleneida on Route 6 in Carmel, across from St. James Church. Dozens of volunteers attended, including local elected officials, helping “plant” the garden.  Local Putnam County schools will join the campaign for the second year, planting their own pinwheel gardens on their campuses.

“Protecting our youth will always be a priority for Putnam County Government. The work being done at our Child Advocacy Center is nothing short of incredible,” said Byrne. “It takes a special kind of person to do the work of protecting and supporting our children in crisis, and the folks at the CAC prove everyday they are up to the task. I thank them, and encourage everyone to support the work they’re doing, not just in April, but every day of the year.”

“The Child Advocacy Center is a program of the Putnam County Department of Social Services. The CAC has long advocated that education is imperative to preventing child abuse and continues to partner with local agencies to implement innovative programs to ensure the physical, mental, and emotional health and wellbeing of the children of Putnam County,” said Commissioner Michael J. Piazza Jr. “Awareness and education programs promote the importance of early and comprehensive prevention of abuse, not just response after it occurs.”


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