Pancake breakfast

Published 12:00 am Monday, April 4, 2016


Eat pancakes Saturday for a good cause

By John Howell
Tomorrow’s Exchange Club Annual Spring Pancake Breakfast raises money in a light-hearted, friendly setting to help combat a deadly serious problem — child abuse.
The club’s focus on child abuse prevention education includes support of a little known resource in a neighboring county — the Exchange Club Family Center in Oxford.
Center director Fred Johnson told Batesville Exchange members during their Wednesday meeting that prevention efforts aimed at children center around a large bear named STAN whose message to children is, “Say no, get away, tell somebody.”
“When there is one child killed by a stepfather or a boyfriend, that is one too many,” Johnson said, referring to domestic triangles that frequently lead to tragic outcomes for children.
Other efforts at the Exchange Club Family Center include counseling and classes to help parents manage the anger that often leads to abuse, Johnson said.
The Mississippi Department of Human Services states that over 1,800 incidents of suspected child abuse were referred to that agency during January alone.
In Panola County, Deputy Sheriff Bryan Arnold’s specialty includes investigations of both child abuse and sexual abuse.
“There’s more and more of them coming in,” Arnold said. The investigator said that he attributes part of the increase to victims, encouraged by other victims or family members who have come forward, becoming more willing to report incidents of abuse. Arnold said that the sheriff’s department receives 25 to 30 calls a month regarding child abuse and neglect and sexual assault. Further investigation winnows the number down to about five or six monthly that materialize into full criminal investigations, he said.
Other recipients of proceeds from Exchange Club fund-raisers include the Boys and Girls Club of Northwest Mississippi in Batesville and, recently, the April 23 Convoy of Hope.
Saturday’s pancake breakfast from 7 to 10 a.m. includes pancakes, sugar-free and sugar-loaded syrup, sausage, bacon, milk, orange juice and, of course, peanut butter.
Tickets are $5 and are available at the door, from any Exchange member and at First Security Bank and The Panolian.

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