Chairman Cleve Hartley presented a copy of the Parkinson’s Awareness proclamation to Jennifer Hulsey, who spoke about Parkinson's disease (PD). It is described as a chronic and progressive movement disorder and symptoms continue and worsen over time.
Hartley said that April 16-22 has been designated as Parkinson’s Awareness Week.
According to Hulsey, local volunteers are partnering with the National Parkinson’s Foundation to host Polk’s fifth annual Parkinson’s Walk on April 21.
Registration will begin at 9 a.m. and the Walk will kick off at 11 a.m. Participants will meet at the Cedartown Depot and walk to Peek Park where they can participate in fundraising and fun activities.
The latest statistics show that about 60,000 people are suffering from PD. Of this number, 14,000 have been identified in Northwest Georgia.
During April, Prevent Child Abuse Polk (PCAP) is partnering with the Exchange Club to promote how people in this community can help protect children.
To increase public awareness about this issue, the Child Prevention Month proclamation asks Polk citizens to be a part of the “Blue Monday” observance.
“We want everyone in Polk to wear blue on Mondays to say that we are tired of child abuse,” said Hulsey. “We believe in this community we all care.”
Research shows that when parents possess six protective factors, the risk for neglect and abuse diminish and optimal outcomes for children, youth and families are promoted. These are identified as nurturing and attachment, knowledge, parental resilience, social connections, concrete support for parents and social and emotional developmental well-being.
“April is a time to celebrate the important role that communities play in protecting children,” said Rhonda Heuer, Polk Family Connection Coordinator. “Everyone’s participation is critical,” she said.
Noted is the fact that the number of substantiated incidents of child abuse and neglect has dropped. In 2010, Polk’s rate had dropped to 286 children. While the rate is lower in Polk, it is still higher than the state average.
Hulsey pointed out that more than 3 million children suffer from child abuse annually. Since 1979, the Exchange Clubs across the United States have helped more than 1.8 million children.