Hickory – The Children’s Advocacy and Protection Center will hold a Vigil on October 29 at noon to remember the 18 children listed by the NC Child Fatality and Prevention Team as homicide victims by a parent or caregiver. The Vigil will be held at Sails on the Square in downtown Hickory.

The Vigil is held annually in October in remembrance of the children who died as a result of abuse and neglect in North Carolina during the prior calendar year. A bell rings as each child’s name, age and county is read aloud. Simultaneous with the ringing of the bell, a T-Shirt holding the child’s first name and age will be displayed for everyone to see. This year 19 T-shirts will be displayed. In addition to the 18 names, there will be one for the Unknown unreported death. The art work on each shirt is created by art students at Hickory High under the guidance of their art teacher, Teresa Bentley. After the ceremony, a Linda Henson takes the shirts and creates a quilt. The CAPC will also reveal last year’s quilt designed and created by Linda and Dave Henson. After the event, this quilt will be displayed somewhere in Catawba County as designated by Darlene Burgess, the Children’s Protection Award Winner for 2019.

Dr. Gail Summer will speak during the ceremony. Dr. Summer currently serves as the Project Coordinator for KidsREADy Catawba, a capacity-building effort examining strategies to improve third-grade reading proficiency. She has lived in Catawba County 30 years, having been on the faculty at Lenoir-Rhyne for over 20 years, and served as the first Early Childhood Director for the Hickory Public Schools when preschool classrooms were first implemented. She was the Vice President for Academic Affairs at Ferrum College, in Ferrum, Virginia for almost 10 years, where she also served on the Virginia Head Start Association Board. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Indiana University, a Master of Education degree from the University of South Carolina, and a doctorate from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Christy Clary will be singing a special song, and Rev. Dr. Bob Thompson from Corinth Reformed Church, Hickory will do the prayer.

The Vigil also serves as a reminder to each of us that we have a responsibility to protect children. Please join us as we remember the innocent children who suffered a senseless death in North Carolina during 2018. As a reminder – the location of the Vigil is at Sails on the Square, Tuesday, October 22 at noon and will last approximately 1 hour. For more information, contact the CAPC at 828-465-9296.

The CAPC is a non-profit organization that works to prevent and respond to child sexual abuse and serious physical abuse. It coordinates the efforts of Catawba County Social Services, law enforcement, and the District Attorney’s office.

More information about the CAPC is available on its website at catawbacountycapc.org. You may call the center at 828-465-9296. For more information about the Vigil, email cengart@catawbacountync.gov.