Marines and sailors from the Tri-command volunteered at KidFest held in downtown Beaufort, April 1.
KidFest is held to raise awareness and educate the local community about Child Abuse Prevention month. Marine Corps Community Services South Carolina organized and sponsored the event.
“The idea is to have fun and have entertainment for kids, while giving out information about the recourses available in the community,” said Megan Grabowski, a prevention and education specialist with the Family Advocacy Program. “A lot of people don’t know that April is child abuse prevention month. Having all these families come out and have fun while gaining some knowledge about child abuse is really what today is all about.”
Helping run the event were Navy and Marine Corps volunteers from the Tri-command. The volunteers helped set up booths and escorted an assortment of cartoon characters around the event, and helped the different vendors with their presentations.
“None of this would have been possible without the Marines and sailors from the Beaufort area,” said Grabowski. “They help us set everything up, take everything down and everything in between. Whenever MCCS wants to hold an event it reaches out to the service members of the Tri-command and always get an overwhelming response.”
According to Child Welfare Information Gateway the definition of child abuse and neglect refers specifically to parents and other caregivers where any recent act or failure to act which results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse or exploitation and an act or failure to act which presents an imminent risk of serious harm. The theme for this year’s KidFest is step up and speak out.
“I want to expand a little on the theme of this year’s KidFest,” said Col. Peter D. Buck, the commanding officer of MCAS Beaufort. “Parents should step up and do the right thing for our kids, creating a safe environment for them. The ‘speak out’ portion is if u observe that type of activity, then we do something about it. We also want to add on ‘reaching out’. If you are having some challenges, it is ok to reach out and get some help. There are many agencies here today to help you. All you have to do is reach out and talk to them.”