24-hour walkathon bringing awareness to child abuse awareness prevention

24-hour walkathon bringing awareness to child abuse awareness prevention
Child Abuse Prevention Awareness month has the Johnston County, Illinois Community lacing up its shoes for a 24-hour walkathon (Source: Brittany Jacob, KFVS)

JOHNSTON CITY, IL (KFVS) - Child Abuse Prevention Awareness month has the Johnston County, Illinois Community lacing up its shoes for a 24-hour walkathon.

Firefighters Dale Russell attended the first day.

"We'd like to think those things don't happen in our community, but they do," Russell said.

Russell and many others in Johnston County are walking around the courthouse square in Vienna for 24 hours to raise awareness about child abuse prevention.

"We are trying to be more community involved, not just when tragedy strikes," he said. "They have a house fire or a terrible traffic accident. We just want to be more community involved. What better way to do that than through our children.".

Firefighters are not the only ones walking. Government officials, educators, and also students are walking for a purpose. One senior at Vienna High, Avron Easter, took time away from class to participate and support the efforts.

"Definitely getting the whole school out here, obviously means a great deal, especially to all of kids," said Easter. "Things like this shouldn't be a thing we have to deal with."

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"Every student needs a voice, every kid needs a voice," said the Greg Fehner, Vienna Grade School Superintendent. "Regretfully some of our kids and some of our students don't have that voice so it's our responsibility, morally and professionally and personally, to do that."

It is a responsibility the organizers hope more than a 100 people in the community have taken on.

"Have open eyes open, pay attention to what's going on around you," said Russell. "The old adage it takes a community to raise a child, it is absolutely the truth. And in today's society that's not as easily done and we sometimes don't want to get involved but we absolutely have to and we are trying to help bring awareness to that."

The walk ends at noon tomorrow with a big Awareness Ceremony, and all of the proceeds go to the Victims Impact Panel Fund.

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