Rain doesn't dampen Walk-A-Mile
The Franklin County Domestic Violence Response Coalition and Safeplace, Inc. held their Sixth Annual Walk a Mile for a Child awareness fundraiser Friday morning despite frequent thundershowers.
Approximately 50 volunteers met at the First United Methodist Church in Russellville to raise awareness for child abuse.
Franklin County District Attorney Joey Rushing discussed the importance of reporting all incidents of abuse, regardless how much proof may exist.
"I'd much rather the suspected abuse be reported and turn out to be wrong than to have a child to die because someone was afraid to report it," Rushing said.
He also noted two cases of abuse in the county, which have gained national attention.
"Baby Chance, a three week old infant, was murdered by his father," Rushing said. "The father was sentenced to death for killing his own son."
Gonzalez, who many consider sill a missing person despiter her parent's claims she was dead, touched many people.
"The Andrea Gonzalez case had a major impact on our county and our communities," Rushing said.
A fountain will be placed by the Coalition at the Red Bay Police Department in memory of Baby Chance and benches in memory of Gonzalez will be placed at the Franklin County Mike Green Center.
Safeplace's Suzanne Swaim said the fountain should be dedicated toward the end of April. No date has been discussed for Andrea's memorial.
"We'd like to dedicate both of these memorials in April because April is Child Abuse Awareness Month," Swaim said.
After the ceremony, the participants walked two blocks down Jackson Avenue to Lawrence Street and back up to Washington to the Methodist Church.
Coalition Member Kathy Archer said Franklin County had already collected $6,000 for this year's walk, with even more outstanding.
"That's $1,000 more than we raised last year," Archer said.
The Coalition's goal for 2008 was $7,500.
All money raised will go to fund programs for Safeplace, Inc.