Pinwheel garden on display at Chestnut Branch Park
April is “Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention Month,” in the township.
At the April 2 workshop meeting, Mayor Peter Scirrotto awarded Debra Kain, Joanne West and Gail Shast, members of the Gloucester County Women’s Club, with a proclamation designating April as such.
The GCWC is a member of the New Jersey State Federation of Women’s Clubs, which is under the General Federation of Women’s Club, an international club founded in 1890 and now headquartered in Washington, D.C.
The GCWC plans to plant pinwheel gardens throughout Mantua Township, Washington Township and Wenonah for a one-month display to spread domestic violence awareness. This effort, called Prevent Child Abuse New Jersey, is part of a statewide project with other women’s clubs.
Before the April 2 meeting, the club decorated the garden surrounding the Chestnut Branch Park sign in Mantua with blue pinwheels.
In 2008, Prevent Child Abuse America adopted the pinwheel as the symbol for child abuse prevention through the organization Pinwheels for Prevention. A statement on preventchildabuse.org reads, “By its very nature, the pinwheel connotes whimsy and childlike notions. In essence, it has come to serve as the physical embodiment, or reminder, of the great childhoods we want for all children.”
“It is an honor to share in this statewide project…This Project, Prevent Child Abuse New Jersey means so much to all women, and for us to have an opportunity to support this in hope that everyone seeing the gardens during April will take a moment to be sure that all children have the benefit of a happy, healthy and safe childhood,” Shast said.
The proclamation reads, in part, “We all have a responsibility as individuals, neighbors, community members and citizens of Mantua Township to help create, healthy, nurturing and safe experiences for children … it is recognized that not one person can do everything but that everyone can do something, and together we can help create change for the better.”
In other news:
• Mothers Against Drunk Driving-New Jersey and the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety requested police departments throughout the state nominate officers who carried out the most DWI stops in 2017 in their departments for an award. Mantua Township Ptl. Brian Hauss and Cody Mroz will be honored at a ceremony at Rutgers University on June 12.
“Both are extremely hard-working officers who enjoy what they do. Although DWI enforcement is but a small portion of their daily job duties, it is an important one. Driving under the influence of intoxicating liquor and/or drugs takes lives. Any one of their DWI arrests could have potentially saved somebody, including the arrestee, from being killed in a car crash related to the intoxication. Thankfully, none of us will ever know,” Chief of Police Darren White said.
• The Mantua Township Police Department hired Timothy Patterson as a special law enforcement Class I officer.
• Public works announced that grass collection has started. As a reminder, no sticks or branches are to be placed in the carts, just garden clippings, leaves and grass. April 16 to 20 public works will conduct in-street spring leaf collection.