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Annual walk to prevent child abuse to be held Saturday

By Staff | Oct 12, 2011

The 6th annual walk to prevent child abuse in Southwest Florida will be held this weekend at Pelican Preserve in Fort Myers thanks to the Children’s Network of Southwest Florida.

Director of communications Aimee McLaughlin said Wednes-day event organizers have re-ceived a commitment from 350 walkers for the event so far.

“It is a light-hearted, fun way of showing your support for child abuse prevention,” she said about the walk.

The number of children that the Children’s Network of Southwest Florida provides care for changes from month to month. The organization is currently helping approximately 1,400 children who have suffered from abuse or neglect across Southwest Florida.

McLaughlin said on average they receive more than 1,000 abuse calls a month that are taken and accepted across the five counties of Southwest Florida.

The event, which is held each year to increase awareness, along with raising funds to create child abuse prevention programs, will be held Saturday with registration beginning at 7:30 a.m. and the 3 1/2-mile walk kicking off at 8:30 a.m.

Dogs, as well as individuals, are welcome to join the walk.

Although there is no fee to register for the walk, a majority of the walkers are setting goals to raise a specific amount of money to go towards the cause of fighting abuse and neglect in children.

Individuals can also donate money for the walk online at www.childnetswfl.org.

It is a community awareness event, McLaughlin said, which is typically a successful walk every year due to the good turnout.

“One where people come together and show they care about children,” she said about the 6th annual walk.

There will also be a chance for individuals to win raffle prizes during the walk.

Pelican Preserve is located at 10571 Veneto Drive in Fort Myers. For information, call 239-226-1524 or visit www.childnetswfl.org.

The walk was made possible due to the sponsors, Suncoast for Kids Foundation, the News-Press Media Group, Family Preser-vation Services and Pelican Preserve.