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Anything is possible by working together

&uot;Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.&uot; – Margaret Meade

This quote is one of the things that keeps me going in the quest to keep all children safe from harm.

Last Saturday, several community organizations, concerned citizens and the public came together for the first annual Child Safety Awareness Fair in Windsor, held during National Child Abuse Prevention Month and Shaken Baby Syndrome Awareness Week.

We initially had planned to hold the event focused only on SBS and child abuse prevention, but as more and more groups heard about the event and showed interest, we decided to broaden the range to general child safety.

While we certainly haven’t changed the world yet, it is my hope that we at least have begun to change the surrounding community.

I’d just like to thank all the participating organizations, sponsors and donors who made this event possible.

First, a huge thank you to my employer, Jeff Findley, and the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, for allowing me to advertise for the event in this publication.

Another tremendous thanks to Jay Jenkins and the Bertie Ledger-Advance for sponsoring the Willie Peebles Band and to the band itself for making an appearance and giving such an awesome performance.

Much gratitude goes to Bertie County Commissioner Rick Harrell, Windsor Mayor Bob Spivey, District Attorney Valerie Asbell and Gloria Braddy of the Bertie County Department of Social Services for speaking on child abuse issues at the event.

Without the help of the members of the Bertie Memorial Hospital – Auxiliary, there’s no way everything would have gone as smoothly as it did on Saturday.

Thank you so much to everyone who attended.

Spencer’s Snack Bar in Windsor graciously donated the hamburgers and hot dogs and Bill and Red Price cooked and help set everything up.

They are much appreciated!

Thank you as well to the organizations who came and set up booths for the fair with information, services or activities for children: Albemarle Regional Health Services, Bertie County Department of Social Services, North Carolina Cooperative Extension’s In-Home Breastfeeding Support, North Carolina Highway Patrol and Bertie County SMART Start.

Having all these groups in attendance made everything so much more diverse for children and their parents!

A special friend of mine, Lynsey Lund, unselfishly donated much of her time to helping me plan and coordinate the event in the weeks preceding the fair – and she did all this from all the way across the country!

Lynsey, you amaze me.

Thank you so much!

Another good friend, Edward Rodriguez from Florida, was driving around town all day Saturday picking up forgotten items and running last minute errands.

I really appreciate him coming all the way up here and helping out with the fair.

I can’t forget my family – my mom, Kim Price, and my Mema, Florence Lassiter.

Both of these ladies tended to my son in the days preceding and during the event so that I could do what was necessary to get everything done.

I love you both so much and I don’t know what I’d do without you.

And last, but certainly not least, thank you to all the sponsors who donated or discounted services or goods for the fair:

* Bertie County Commissioners

* Spencer’s Snack Bar

* Town of Windsor

* Dollar Value

* Ivy Lane

* Southern Bank

* Bertie Ambulance Service

* Cash & Carry

* W.H. Basnight & Co.

* Powell & Stokes

* Donna & Wayne Jenkins

* Zee Lamb

* Janet Price

* Julius Harrell

* Sharon Thompson

* Ken Atkinson (Ken’s Handcrafted Jewelry)

* China King

* Sandra’s Corner

* Cashie Outdoors

* Roy’s Service Center

* Extreme Bouncers & Slides

* Classic Tan & Party Rental

* Bertie Memorial Hospital – Auxiliary

* Richard Whitley (Edward Jones Investments)

* Windsor Police Department

* Windsor Fire Department

Furthermore, the event raised over $300 for the Bertie Memorial Hospital – Auxiliary, in addition to bringing much-needed community awareness to child abuse and other child safety issues.

We are already gearing up for next year and hoping for an even bigger turnout and more participating organizations.

Again, thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone who in any way assisted with this event or attended… and please remember to pass along the word of how important it is to never, ever shake a baby or small child.

Hope to see you all again next year!

Want to let me know what you think?

Have a suggestion for a future column?

Feel free to send an email to: jennipher.dickens@r-cnews.com or call (252) 332-7208.