5th Annual Party for Prevention
St. Augustine Youth Service's 5th Annual Party for Prevention - Child Abuse Prevention took place Saturday, April 14th from 11am-1pm on our SAYS campus.
The event, sponsored by Teresa Mercurio of Remax 100 and Magellan Complete Care, was kicked off with a live set from local musicians Sea Floor Explosives (Jon Bailey + Corey Peterson) as over a dozen local vendors provided free children's activities and prevention materials. Vendors included: St. John's County Sheriff's Office, Betty Griffin Center, St. Johns County Family Integrity Program, Big Bear Behavioral, Girl Scouts of Gateway Council, and more.
Chris Lolley, Director of Prevent Child Abuse Florida, gave a moving speech to party guests. In his speech he cited the importance of raising awareness of child abuse, fostering safe spaces for children, and the symbolism of the pinwheel. His speech was followed be a 'prevention walk' around the SAYS campus, lead by current residents of SAYS.
Guests were invited to visit the SAYS popcorn bar, grab a slice of pizza, and tour the three group homes on SAYS' campus that have served hundreds of children with past histories of abuse. The event wrapped up with a feature performance from circus act Dog Show Menestrelli Entertainment. Their exciting set included stilts, balloon animals, a clown, and 7 trained circus dogs making it a sight to see for both children and adults alike.
By working together as a community, we all can play a part in promoting children’s emotional well-being and strengthening families. During the month of April and throughout the year, St. Augustine Youth Services is dedicated to supporting families and reducing the risk of child abuse and neglect.
“Everyone’s participation is critical,” said Schuyler Siefker, SAYS Executive Director. “Focusing on ways to build and promote the protective factors in every interaction with children and families is the best thing our community can do to prevent child maltreatment and promote optimal child development.”