Five Hometown Heroes to be honored

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Five Hometown Heroes will be honored at the Hometown Heroes Walk for Children, said Child Advocacy Center director Sharon De Boer.

The awards will be presented at Murfreesboro Civic Plaza on Friday, April 20 at 11:45 a.m. before the Hometown Heroes Walk for Children. The awards will be a surprise for each of the recipients and are considered legacy awards to community members who work to protect children.

"Each of these Hometown Heroes has dedicated their career to making our community a better place for children to live and grow up," De Boer said.

The Child Advocacy Center anticipates 300 walkers will participate in the Hometown Heroes Walk for Children after the awards are presented. Walkers can pre-register online until Thursday morning at www.cacrutherford.org. People may also register at the event from 11:00 to 11:45 a.m. at Murfreesboro Civic Plaza. The walk is free. Event t-shirts will be available for purchase for $10.

The Hometown Heroes Committee is issuing a new challenge this year. There will be a new "Golden Sneakers Award" for the business or agency that brings the most walkers to the event. Last year the Department of Children's Services had the most walkers. So far this year, Amazon Fulfillment is in the lead!

"The Child Advocacy Center program services are provided free of charge to child victims and their families," De Boer said. "But these services are not free. It takes the support of people like you for us to be able to provide these critically needed services to child abuse victims." Funds collected will be used to help child abuse victims heal.

In the last 18 years, the Child Protective Investigative Team, consisting of the Child Advocacy Center, the Department of Children's Services, law enforcement, and the District Attorney's Office have worked together to investigate and prosecute 14,000 child abuse cases and assisted over 20,000 individuals.

Department of Children's Services protects children, law enforcement arrests perpetrators, the District Attorney's Office aggressively prosecutes offenders, while the Child Advocacy Center helps children and families heal from the trauma.

"We have had a chilly spring, but the weather forecast for Friday is for sunny skies and 63 degrees," De Boer said. "It will be the perfect temperature for a 2-mile walk. Lace up your tennis shoes and join your friends and neighbors as we walk to prevent child abuse."

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