Newsroom > DHHS News Release

For Immediate Release
March 31, 2016

Russ Reno, Communications and Legislative Services, (office) 402-471-8287 or
(cell) 402-450-7318, or
Brenda Weyers, Nebraska Children and Families Foundation, 402-476-9401 or

3rd Annual Pinwheels for Prevention Picnic
set for Saturday, April 9 

Lincoln—The third annual Pinwheels for Prevention Picnic will be held Saturday, April 9, from 11 a.m.-2 p.m., at The Railyard in Downtown Lincoln to launch Child Abuse Prevention Month. 

Funded by the Nebraska Child Abuse Prevention Fund Board in partnership with Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services and Nebraska Children and Families Foundation, the picnic is a celebration of positive parenting. There will also be free giveaways and educational materials for parents and caregivers.

This event is free to all families. “Our goal is to create an environment where parents can connect with their children and have some fun,” said Kelly Medwick, Nebraska Children’s Chief of Staff. “It’s our way of celebrating the good that parents are doing for their kids.”

At the picnic
Nebraska’s First Lady Susanne Shore will be the official Pinwheel Ambassador, handing out pinwheels to families in attendance.

Courtney Phillips, Department of Health and Human Services CEO, who will speak at the event, noted the Prevention Picnic was the first community activity she and her family attended after arriving in Nebraska last year. “The Prevention Picnic is a fun introduction to the serious purpose of the work of our employees and partners to protect children and strengthen families to stop child abuse,” she said. “My family and I are looking forward to joining other families in recognition of the role of parents to foster  healthy family relationships.”

Todd Ogden, Deputy Director of the Downtown Lincoln Association and Nebraska Children and Families Foundation Board Member, will kick off the event.

After the kickoff, Mike Mennard of the family-friendly band the Mighty Magic Pants will entertain kids and parents alike. Kids can enjoy the bounce house, get their faces painted and claim a balloon animal, while all guests enjoy snacks from Jimmy John’s, who have graciously agreed to sponsor the event, and other area food vendors.

Why Pinwheels?
For several years, Prevent Child Abuse America has used the pinwheel as the national symbol of child abuse awareness. In communities across the country, Child Abuse Prevention Councils plant pinwheel gardens to bring awareness to the need for prevention efforts.

"Pinwheels symbolize the safe, happy childhood that every child deserves,” said Kathy Stokes, Associate Vice President of Prevent Child Abuse Nebraska. “But parenting can be tough. Reaching out for help and education is a sign of strength. And we want Nebraska’s families to know that positive parenting support is available, whether your kids are newborns through teens."  

The Nebraska Child Abuse Prevention Fund Board (NCAPF Board) sponsors Bring Up Nebraska through Prevent Child Abuse Nebraska and 16 local child abuse prevention councils, Child Well Being communities, and partners across the state.

Nebraska Children and Families Foundation invests in children from birth to young adulthood with initiatives that are focused on preventing negative life outcomes. We do this by building strong communities that support families so their children can grow up to be thriving, productive adults. By working with our community partners to understand the risks facing children at every stage of their development, we can identify the most effective avenues to create positive change, and help Nebraska’s most vulnerable citizens reach their full potential.