Flight of Butterflies Raises Awareness for National Child Abuse Prevention Month

April 13, 2022 - (Photo Album) - A flight of butterflies were released on the downtown square on Thursday, April 7th at the Shelby County Children’s Advocacy Center's (SCCAC) annual Butterfly Release to raise awareness of April as the National Child Abuse Prevention Month.

Denise Merriman, Executive Director of SCCAC, spoke words of appreciation to Farmers State Bank for sponsoring and making the event possible.

Farmers State Bank President/City of Center mayor David Chadwick gave thanks in return, “First of all we want to thank Mrs. Merriman and the Children’s Advocacy Center, the Shelby County Children’s Advocacy Center, and all the work that they do for our county. Unfortunately, this is one of those jobs that is a very sensitive job, a very serious job, one that we wished that we did not have to have. But we are so blessed to have a team that is willing to work with families and with children who have problems socially and many who have problems related to abuse. We are one of a very small number of counties that is blessed with the quality of service that we have, the volume of people, and then the whole community supporting the efforts of the advocacy center.”

Next, Mayor Chadwick highlighted the number of children affected by abuse which is 1 in 10, and he explained the reason the butterfly was being used for this event. It isn’t because of spring but because it is an example of a new life. Mayor Chadwick then told the legend of the butterfly which involves telling a butterfly a secret which can then be taken to the heavens to be granted. He explained the butterfly is symbolic of the gesture that we try to instill in a child to tell someone what their problems are.

The final phase of the butterfly release was Mayor Chadwick counting down to everyone setting their butterfly free. The butterflies are dormant in the envelopes and once they open up, the butterfly take a moment to awake before flying away.