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Thursday, May 5, 2016

SL vigil to remember 11 victims of child abuse

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

CASA seeks volunteers

The public is invited to a candlelight vigil to raise awareness on the problem of child abuse, to be held in Storm Lake on April 1.

The Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) program is sponsoring the vigil at the Buena Vista County Courthouse green, starting at 5 p.m. In case of bad weather, the event will move to the courthouse atrium.

"April is National Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness Month," said CASA's Kathy Fritz. "The crowd will be given candles to light in memory of the children who have suffered, and to signify that children are the light of all of our lives."

Eleven children in Iowa have died due to child abuse in the past year, Fritz said. The event features "gingerbread"-style figures memorializing each of these children.

Special guest speaker for the vigil will be Leon Williams, multicultural staffer for Buena Vista University. Other plans are still in the works, but other vigils have featured a local pastor for opening and closing prayers, and sometimes music or a poetry reading. "The candlelight vigil last year held special meaning for us here in Storm Lake, where we had buried the baby known as The Child of God, who had been found dead in the trash at the recycling center.

Many of the people brought flowers to the vigil, and afterward, I put them on the child's grave," Fritz said.

In addition to the vigil, CASA will be recruiting new volunteers to be trained to assist children who are being addressed by the court system. The need is great, and anyone interested in taking part may call 749-8184, Fritz said.

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