The streets of downtown Murfreesboro were filled with local hometown heroes as the Child Advocacy Center hosted the Hometown Heroes Walk for Children on Friday, April 21.

This 2nd annual event concluded Child Abuse Prevention Month and highlighted the important work that every day heroes do to help child abuse victims.

The Child Advocacy Center works as a team with the Department of Children’s Services, Murfreesboro Police Department, La Vergne Police Department, Smyrna Police Department, Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office, Guidance Center, Our Kids Center, and the District Attorney’s Office to respond to child abuse cases, prosecute offenders, and help children and families heal from the trauma.

WSMV Channel 4 weatherman Paul Heggen was the event Master of Ceremonies.  Rutherford County EMS Honor Guard presented the flag.  Local hometown hero speakers included Murfreesboro Mayor Shane McFarland, Smryna Police Chief Kevin Arnold, and District Attorney General Jennings Jones.

Child Advocacy Center director Sharon De Boer presented the 2017 Hometown Heroes Awards to Chief Kevin Arnold (Smyrna Police Department), Kim Rush (Guidance Center), Christina Moody (Department of Children’s Services, Elizabeth Renegar Parker (Child Advocacy Center Board of Directors), and the late Nancy Nelson (District Attorney’s Office).

As the rain ended that morning, 150-200 walkers walked down South Church Street and Middle Tennessee Blvd.  Murfreesboro Police Department officers and Citizens Police Academy, and Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office Mounted Patrol kept walkers safe along the walk route.  Terry Cunningham and the Rutherford County EMS were on hand for medical emergencies.

The event concluded with a picnic lunch at the Child Advocacy Center.  Local businesses that contributed to the picnic lunch included PATCO’s grilled meats, Lewis Bakery’s buns, O’Charley’s pies, Macaroni Grill’s desserts, Double Tree’s cookies, Zaxby’s chicken tenders, and Coca Cola’s drinks.

“The Child Advocacy Center is very grateful to our community partners and supporters,” said De Boer.  Over $26,000 was raised for the Child Advocacy Center to provide crisis intervention services free of charge to child abuse victims.

Our own local hometown heroes that supported child abuse victims included Troy and Donna Van Lier with Sudsy’s Car Wash, Boston Red Sox pitcher David Price and Project One Four Foundation, Junior League of Murfreesboro, Drs. Russ and Sherry Galloway and the Emergency Physicians of St. Thomas Rutherford, Franklin Synergy Bank, Middle Tennessee Electric Sharing Change, Murfreesboro Noon Exchange Club, Ole South Properties, PATCO, St. Thomas Rutherford, WGNS Radio, and Bill and Lucy Whitesell.

Other event partners include:  Ascend Federal Credit Union, Bridgestone LaVergne Plant, Mayor Ernest and Peggy Burgess, F&M Bank, Ferrous Processing & Trading Company, Ingram Content Group, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local Union 429, Kohl’s, Middle Tennessee Association of Realtors, Murfreesboro Rover, Redstone Federal Credit Union, Clarissa Smith Realtor at Parks, Smith Bus Design LLC, Steel Technologies, Waldron Fann & Parsley, Sandra Benson, First Baptist Church, Brandie Justice, Middle Tennessee Natural Gas Project Hometown Help, Elizabeth Renegar Parker, Rock Springs Family Chiropractic, Roscoe Brown, John Stracener, Andy and Cherry Womack, Pastor Vincent and Stacy Windrow, James Warner, Samuel and Darlene Baker, Belle Aire Baptist Church, Mike and Julie Cha, Family and Cosmetic Dentistry of Smryna, Carl and Patricia Gibson, H2O Hair Studio, Paul Mongold, Peddler Gifts and Interiors, Smith Designs, Nathan and Shannon Summar, John and Linda Vile,  Publix Super Markets, Donald and Sharon Porterfield, Marcia Richmond, Mike and Kim Snell, William and Jackie Thomason, James and Hanna Witherspoon, Anthony and Bettie Beckwith, Andrea Knox, and Kevin Fisher.

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