Shimmering pinwheels will spin again in front of the Marion County Courthouse in Hannibal, raising awareness about how to stop child abuse and neglect.

Shimmering pinwheels will spin again in front of the Marion County Courthouse in Hannibal, raising awareness about how to stop child abuse and neglect.

Douglass Community Services' Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) for Children will host the annual Pinwheels for Prevention ceremony beginning at noon Friday, April 6, in the large courtroom at the Marion County Courthouse, 906 Broadway in Hannibal. Alex Jennings, CASA Volunteer Coordinator, said she hopes for an even larger event than in 2017. Drinks and snacks will be served inside; passersby and visitors will see rows of brightly-colored pinwheels, symbolizing a nurturing and happy childhood for all youth.

Pinwheels for Prevention is a nationwide event, and April marks Child Abuse Prevention Month. CASA volunteers provide a voice for children throughout the legal process. Children involved in court cases depend on CASA volunteers as advocates and as a constant source of support.

During the first Pinwheels for Prevention Ceremony in 2017, 10th Circuit Presiding Judge Rachel Bringer Shepherd said during Fiscal Year 2015, there were reports of alleged abuse or neglect to 802 children in the 10th Judicial Circuit —which encompasses Marion, Monroe and Ralls counties.

As the pinwheels catch the wind in the Courthouse's front lawn, they will stand as a reminder of the presence of child abuse and neglect in area communities, along with the volunteers and officials who work everyday to prevent and address these issues — including members of the 10th Circuit Judicial Division, the 10th Circuit Judicial Office, Judges and CASA volunteers.

The public is invited to the ceremony. For more information, please contact Jennings at 573-221-3890, ext. 280.