Klamath Falls, Ore. - On Wednesday, April 4, 2018, Sugarman’s Corner in Downtown Klamath Falls became home to the Day of Hope community event. An event dedicated to child abuse prevention in Klamath County and to proclaim April to be Child Abuse Prevention Month in Klamath County.
“We celebrate this day being the annual Day of Hope,” said Carol Westfall City of Klamath Falls Mayor. “We recognize this month of April as Child Abuse Prevention Month.”
“Today our purpose is to prevent and eventually eradicate child abuse in our community,” said Billy Redd Pastor of Refuge City Church and Emcee of the event. “In the sheer enormity of this issue, we must all believe that the invisible spirit of hope to begin turning the wheel in the right direction.”
Nearly 200 attended the event with several dignitaries observed in attendance as guests. Observed in the crowd were: David Henslee, Chief of Police; Chris Kaber, Klamath County Sherriff; Airmen from the 173rd Fighter Wing, among others. Music was performed by the Henley High Touch of Class Choir Directed by Chris Benjamin and students from kindergarten class at Stearns Elementary. Students from Klamath Union High School also sang as part of the Day of Hope event.
“I do not think there has been a time as exciting as right now to live in Klamath County,” said by Kelly Minty Morris, Klamath County Commissioner. “There are so many great things going on. As a community we dream big and we get things done.”
Morris continues, “We shared that the county did already proclaim this Child Abuse Prevention Month. But I also want to proclaim with you today. This is not an issue that is too big for our community to embrace. I want us to really embrace this together and I want to thank you all in your efforts for making this happen.”
“I believe that there is hope,” exclaimed Jen Meyers a Klamath Falls parent who has helped many children. “I can say I have hope with conviction, because I have seen many situations turn around. I have seen children get glimpses of hope and see it change the direction of their lives.”
Meyers continues, “Our home became a home for kids to hang out. We started to incorporate them into our family. From going camping to fishing, to trips to the water park, to kids camps and youth events at our church. Every Friday we would buy pizzas and they would hang out or we would go bowling. Sundays we would take them to church.”
“I realized what these kids were attracted to,” said Meyers as her voice choked up. “They were attracted to the security, our love and our acceptance.”
“These kids are so worth it,” Meyer said.
Purpose of the Pinwheel
Redd took a moment to explain the purpose of the blue pinwheels.
Pinwheel Gardens have sprouted up in the Klamath Basin in support of child abuse prevention month an in support of the Day of Hope and goal of ending child abuse. Locations of the gardens are:
- Cascade Health Alliance
- Holliday Jewelry
- Klamath Basin Behavioral Health
- Klamath County Community Corrections
- Klamath County Fairgrounds
- Klamath County Government Center
- Klamath County Sheriff’s Department
- Klamath Falls City Hall
- Klamath Falls Police Department
- Klamath Lake Community Action Services
- Life Recovery Church
- Oregon Tech
- Pacific Crest FCU (Washburn Way & S. 6th St. Branches)
- Refuge City Church / Faith Tabernacle
- Sacred Heart Catholic Church
- Sanford Children’s Clinic
- Turn Thom Point S
- US Bank
Due to the response of a Day of Hope and Child Abuse Prevention Awareness month, pinwheels are hard to come by in the State of Oregon. If you or your organization wishes to host a pinwheel garden in April 2019 contact Susan at Klamath Lake Community Action Services (http://www.klcas.org/ or 541-882-3500).
In 2017, there were four pinwheel gardens around the community. That number has grown to eighteen for 2018. By 2019, they are hoping for fifty plus around the community of Klamath Falls.