First annual Stepping Up for Children event to take place at Bonanzaville

Photo by: Bonanzaville
Photo by: Bonanzaville

(West Fargo, ND) -- A first of its kind event is set to take place at Bonanzaville this coming Saturday.

On April 29th, the first annual Stepping Up for Children event will take place. The event is an opportunity to spread awareness, educate about the importance of prevention, and raise funds to continue our work in eliminating child abuse and neglect.

"It started off as a small seed of a thought that we wanted to do something to honor child abuse prevention month, and then just kept growing and growing until we got to this," said Director of the North Dakota Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Task Force Lindsey Burkhart.

The event will include a mile-long walk to remember all children who have been impacted or lost their lives due to child abuse and neglect across North Dakota. The goal being that together we will walk toward a future where child abuse no longer exists.

"I can share with you that one in ten of North Dakota children will be victims of child sexual abuse by their 18th birthday, and 65% of those victims will be female," added Burkhart, who says that is just one reason why the event brings a major importance not only to the region, but the state.

The event will also include a brief ceremony with local State Senator Ryan Braunberger, resources for caregivers, activities for children and much more.

"It's something we never really want to talk about, or believe that it happens, but child sexual abuse happens and happens in every community around North Dakota," said Burkhart. "It's something I'm really trying to work on here in the state, is breaking down the stigma so that we can talk about this issue and have more conversations on the topic so we can prevent it from happening."

Doors open at 1 p.m, with the walk starting at 2 p.m.

Tickets for adults are $15, while children four and up are $5. Children three and under are free to attend.

Original Air Date: 
Wednesday, April 26, 2023