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Latest News in Waterford, CA

Easter eggs to fall with a new twist in Modesto. Other hunts planned in the region

A Modesto church plans a new way to deliver Easter eggs to children on the hunt this year: dropping them from a hot air balloon.Shelter Cove Community Church has delighted children in the past by dropping the holiday treasures from a helicopter, but this year it will be from a balloon, according to special-events director Shawn Tavarez.It’s one of the larger egg hunts planned in the region, including two the weekend prior to Easter.While talking about plans for this year’s egg hunt, Tavarez said, the creative...

A Modesto church plans a new way to deliver Easter eggs to children on the hunt this year: dropping them from a hot air balloon.

Shelter Cove Community Church has delighted children in the past by dropping the holiday treasures from a helicopter, but this year it will be from a balloon, according to special-events director Shawn Tavarez.

It’s one of the larger egg hunts planned in the region, including two the weekend prior to Easter.

While talking about plans for this year’s egg hunt, Tavarez said, the creative team at Shelter Cove thought, “Do we want to keep doing the same thing every year?” So it came up with the balloon idea.

The balloon will float above the church grounds and drop eggs for five hunts: two on Saturday, April 16, and three on Easter Sunday, April 17.

While organizers aren’t concerned at this point that the weather will keep the balloon from going up, they do have an alternative plan, Tavarez said. The balloon will stay on the ground for kids to check out and volunteers will distribute the eggs across the large lawn area at the church.

Another change this year is that in order to participate, children must attend a prior church service to obtain a free wristband for each hunt. Parents can check in their children at a toddler or elementary school program before the services both days.

The toddler area will be day care only, while elementary age children will play games, sing songs and learn about Easter from a Christian perspective from a pastor, Tavarez said.

Kids will get color-coded wristbands to attend the following egg hunts.

In addition, Shelter Cove will have food trucks and the Yogurt Mill on hand Saturday evening so families can have dinner. Sunday, Yogurt Mill and doughnuts will be available.

“We’re just really focusing on families and them having that time together,” Tavarez said. “Just really a great experience all around.”

Here’s a look at some of the larger egg hunts planned in the Modesto and Mother Lode regions:

Modesto Reservoir – April 9: Stanislaus County Parks, Recreation and Neighborhoods Department hosts egg hunts with more than 11,000 eggs to gather for ages 1 to 11. Other free activities include food vendors, games, face painting and train rides. 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Modesto Reservoir Regional Park, 18143 Reservoir Road, near Waterford. $15 per carload; egg hunts, games and activities are free. 209-525-6750.

Egg Scavenger Hunt – April 10: The Ceres Recreation Department hosts it first Easter egg hunt at Smyrna Park, inside the Costa Fields Complex. There will vendors beginning at noon and pictures with the Easter Bunny from 1:15 to 2:30 p.m. The egg hunt begins at 1:30 p.m. 2113 Rose Ave., Ceres. CeresRec@ci.ceres.ca.us.

Modesto Farmers Market – April 16: Special Easter celebration market features egg hunts with prizes hidden inside the eggs. The Easter Bunny will be available for pictures. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m.; hunts begin at 9:20 a.m. with different times for different age groups. Live music. 16th Street between H and I streets. Free. modestocfm.com.

Easter Egg Drop – April 16-17: A hot air balloon will drop more than 14,000 eggs onto the property at Shelter Cove. Hunts are Saturday at 5:30 and 7:30 p.m.; Sunday at 9:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 1:15 p.m. Children must attend a prior service to get free wristbands to join the egg hunts. Services are Saturday at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.; Sunday at 8:15 a.m., 10 a.m. and 11:45 a.m. Shelter Cove Community Church 4242 Coffee Road, Modesto. 209-567-3200.

Columbia’s Victorian Easter Celebration – April 17: Dress up in Victorian garb and join the event on Main Street in Columbia State Historic Park. Thaddeus E. Hare, Columbia’s Easter Bunny, will hand out goodies to kids. Egg hunts begin at noon, 1 and 1:30 p.m. by age group; Victorian Easter Parade begins at 12:30 p.m. Awards will be given for fanciest Victorian hat, best dressed couple, lasses and lads and more. Columbia State Historic Park, Columbia. Free. visitcolumbiacalifornia.com.

Exhibit brings ‘Norfolk’s ice age giant’ to life

Article contentIt stood over three metres tall, with curved tusks nearly as long.Article contentLumbering past lakes formed by retreating glaciers, it shared sprawling forests with deer as big as moose and beavers the size of black bears.It is one of the largest mastodons ever discovered in Ontario, and 100,000 years ago it called Norfolk County home.The Marburg Mastodon got its name from the village near Port Dover where in 1897, a farmer draining a field unearthed the prehistoric creature’s gian...

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It stood over three metres tall, with curved tusks nearly as long.

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Lumbering past lakes formed by retreating glaciers, it shared sprawling forests with deer as big as moose and beavers the size of black bears.

It is one of the largest mastodons ever discovered in Ontario, and 100,000 years ago it called Norfolk County home.

The Marburg Mastodon got its name from the village near Port Dover where in 1897, a farmer draining a field unearthed the prehistoric creature’s giant skull.

“It turned out to be the remains of an incredibly large mastodon — possibly the biggest that’s ever been found in Ontario,” said Sam Welsh, a high school student whose exhibit about the mastodon, called “Norfolk’s Ice Age Giant,” was recently unveiled at the Waterford Heritage and Agricultural Museum (WHAM).

The farmer, Charles Challand of Marburg, was startled to see huge tusks emerge from what was later determined to have been an ice age peat bog, a low-oxygen environment perfect for preserving fossils.

One of the tusks was broken — perhaps during a sparring match with another mastodon, Welsh theorized — and part of the gigantic skull quickly crumbled in the open air.

But the front section of the skull, along with pieces of backbone and two-metre-long ribs, were excavated intact.

The prehistoric remains caused a stir at the Port Dover fair before being whisked away to an Ottawa museum for study, not returning home until Canada’s centennial 70 years later to enthrall visitors at the Eva Brook Donly Museum in Simcoe.

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Today, said WHAM curator James Christison, most of the fossils are tucked away in storage at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto.

But not all.

Inside two glass cases at the Waterford museum can be found several of the giant herbivore’s spiky teeth and fragments of its prodigious jawbone, all on display for the first time in over half a century.

The exhibit’s eye-catching centrepiece, a full-length mastodon leg fossil complete with bony toes, is a replica the museum had made for the Canada 150 celebrations in 2017.

Though well known locally, the Marburg Mastodon had never been given the full exhibit treatment until Welsh came to the museum last November on a co-op placement through Delhi District Secondary School. It wasn’t long before Christison told him to stop typing up cemetery records and get busy bringing the mastodon’s story to life.

“I’ve been interested in prehistoric animals ever since I was really little,” said Welsh, 18.

“The ice age is a really amazing time. It’s fairly recent compared to most of prehistory, so you actually get most of the same animals you find now, but alongside these giant elephants and sloths roughly the size of bears. You get all sorts of crazy stuff that actually existed.”

Mastodons are shorter and stockier than woolly mammoths, for which they are often confused. The elephantine creatures once roamed the full length of the Americas, from modern-day Alaska to South America. But fossilized mastodon remains in present-day Ontario are rare, as melting glaciers washed them southward.

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“It’s the only one that’s actually been found in Norfolk,” Welsh said of the Marburg Mastodon, who likely weighed in at around six tonnes.

“He probably would have spent most of his time wandering through conifer forests, eating trees,” Welsh said.

Along with researching the exhibit’s written content, Welsh painted backdrops for three panels that depict ice age scenes in living colour.

“I did a lot of sketches of mastodons and elephants to try and get the anatomy down, and then planned it out,” said Welsh, who “dabbles” in paleo-art as a hobby.

“It’s a bit difficult, because you’re working with animals often known from very fragmentary skeletons and trying to figure out what they looked like in real life,” he said.

Welsh finished the watercolour paintings over Christmas break, showing his artwork to a gobsmacked Christison in the new year.

“I was floored to have a high school student produce something like this with very little instruction,” Christison said. “Sam was able to accomplish an incredible amount in the short time we had him.”

The curator especially appreciated Welsh’s attention to detail, such as giving one of the mastodons a broken tusk like the Marburg fossil and including a Canada goose alongside the prehistoric beasts to give viewers “a modern-day perspective.”

“Norfolk’s Ice Age Giant” is on at WHAM until the end of June, and Welsh got his first look at the completed exhibit during a recent visit.

“It’s pretty amazing,” he said. “I did not expect when I signed up to do this that I would end up creating an entire exhibit.”

J.P. Antonacci is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter based at the Hamilton Spectator. The initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.

LOCAL ROUNDUP: Graziano’s gem leads ICC past Cohoes

VALATIE — Freshman Kari Graziano fired a one-hit shutout with 12 strikeouts and no walks as Ichabod Crane defeated Cohoes, 10-0, in Tuesday’s Colonial Council softball game.Clare Knapp drilled a solo homer for the Riders. Ava Heffner had a triple, double, single and three RBI, Emma Scheitinger and Carolina Williams both had a double and single with an RBI, Abby Milazzo ripped two singles, Makayla Walsh and Sophia Saccento both singled and drove in a run and Graziano singled.Kaylee LaForest’s single to lead off...

VALATIE — Freshman Kari Graziano fired a one-hit shutout with 12 strikeouts and no walks as Ichabod Crane defeated Cohoes, 10-0, in Tuesday’s Colonial Council softball game.

Clare Knapp drilled a solo homer for the Riders. Ava Heffner had a triple, double, single and three RBI, Emma Scheitinger and Carolina Williams both had a double and single with an RBI, Abby Milazzo ripped two singles, Makayla Walsh and Sophia Saccento both singled and drove in a run and Graziano singled.

Kaylee LaForest’s single to lead off the seventh inning was Cohoes’ only hit.

“We got the bats going pretty well early on, Ichabod Crane coach Tracy Nytransky said. “Clare had a huge HR in the 2nd inning to put us on top and after that, the floodgates opened. We hit a lot of hard shots to the outfield and everyone put the ball in play.

“We still need to cut down on our base running mistakes and work on strategy at the plate a little more, but our run production was definitely there.

“Kari pitched a great game thriving a one-hitter in her first varsity outing. She really kept them off balance and was very composed on the mound.”

CRARYVILLE — Taconic Hills earned a hard-fought 4-3 victory over Coxsackie-Athens in Tuesay’s Patroon Conference boys tennis match.

“It was a stressful and exciting win for us,” Taconic Hills coach Tom Russo said. “The match was so close that it could have just as easily have been a 7-0 loss or a 7-0 win. Four of the 1st five matches had tiebreakers and the 2nd doubles match went 3 sets.

“I was proud of the way Madeleine and Wyatt worked through some tough games to secure the Titan win in their first match together as a doubles team.”

Singles: Leo Woytowich (Coxsackie-Athens) defeated Connor Gruppo, 7-6(7-3), 6-2; Sebastian Camacho (Taconic Hills) defeated Gavin Hanse, 6-4, 6-4; Bryce Atwood (Taconic Hills) defeated Matt Clark, 6-0, 7-6(7-5); Matt Burch (Coxsackie-Athens) defeated Benjamin Hunter, 6-4, 7-6(7-5); Jacob Hunter (Taconic Hills) defeated Matt Burch, 7-6(7-3), 6-4.

Doubles: Madeleine Dennis & Wyatt Pewtherer (Taconic Hills) defeated Demar Lewison & Asa Decker, 7-5, 6-4; Charlie Petramale & Caleb McIlroy (Coxsackie-Athens) defeated Lizzette Flores-Gomes & Anthony Genovese, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.

Singles: Landon Flach (Maple Hill) defeated Aden Weiss, 6-2, 7-5; Brady Grupe (Greenville) defeated Julian DelFavero, 6-2, 4-6, 6-0; Luke Hoffman (Maple Hill) defeated Liam Bowden, 7-5, 7-6(7-5); Luca Flach (Maple Hill) defeated John Gergen, 6-1, 6-1; Nathan Sober (Maple Hill) defeated Ellis Snyder. 7-5, 6-4

Doubles: Nick Trostle & Sam Rhodes-Goodman (Greenville) defeated Shane McGarvey & Colin Cartwright, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4; Adam Cogliandro & Hayden Landry (Maple Hill) defeated Colin Augustein & Evan Snyder, 6-1, 6-3.

EAST DURHAM — Cairo-Durham won four of five singles matches to defeat Waterford, 4-3, in Patroon Conference bys tennis action.

Singles: Kingston Czajkowski(CD) defeated Jarron Maguire, 10-7; Brendan Feeney(CD) defeated Benji Mills, 11-9; Thomas Rohan(CD) defeated Ace Padilla, 10-8; Alex Gouza(CD) defeated Gage Moran, 10-4; Michael Curtis(W) defeated Adrian Maguire(CD) 10-6.

Doubles: Nate Bauer and Dylan Pallozzi (W) defeated Drew Warner and Gavin Warner, 10-8; Jon Malo and Connor Clune (W) defeated Jakob Weisinger and Jeremiah Newkirk, 10-6.

GREENVILLE — Greenville rolled to a 7-0 victory over Waterford in Patroon Conference boys tennis action.

Doubles: Sam Rhodes-Goodman & Nick Trostle (Greenville) defeated Nate Bauer & Dylan Pallozzi, 6-0, 6-0; Colin Augustein & Jack Stouffer (Greenville) defeated Connor Clune & Jon Malo, 6-2, 6-3.

4x800 relay: TH (Bosko, Halla, Arre, Nunez) 12:08.1; 100m hurdles: Scheriff (Chat) :18.6; 100m: Ingram (TH) :13.9; 1500m: Arre (TH) 6:31.6; 4x100 relay: TH (Ryan, Carrasquillo, McGlynn, Ingram) :58.7; 400m: Uhlar (Chat) :68.3; 400m hurdles: Bosko (TH) :74.2; 800: Olson (TH) 3:09.4; 200m: Roberts (Chat) :30.0; 3000m: Harrison (Chat) 15:41.6; 4x400 relay: Chatham (Hayes, Roberts, DeLuca, Carroll) 4:59.0; Discus: Phillips (TH) 59-4; Shot put: Berry (Chat) 21-8; Triple Jump: Armstrong (Chat) 30-2; Long Jump: Hayes (Chat) 14-8; High Jump: Arre (TH) 4-6; Pole Vault: Olson (TH).

4x800 relay: Chatham (To. Jeralds, Ti. Jeralds, Wood, Haner) 10:16.3; 110m hurdles: Howard (TH) :15.5; 100m: D. Baneni (Chat) :11.5; 1600m: Russo (TH) 5:00.1; 4x100 relay: Chatham (Sitzer, D. Baneni, Narofsky, Myers) :50.1; 400m: Robles (TH) :58.8; 400m hurdles: Howard (TH) :57.0; 800m: To. Jeralds (Chat) 2:14.3; 200m: Meier (TH) :25.6; 3200m: Russo (TH) 11:00.4; 4x400m relay: Chatham (To. Jeralds, Ti. Jeralds, J. Baneni, D. Baneni) 3:53.6; Discus: Baccaro (Chat) 87-8; Shot put: Wilson (Chat) 38-0; Triple jump: Barlow (Chat) 39-4.5; Long jump: Howard (TH) 22-1.5; High jump: Barlow (Chat) 5-4; Pole vault: Howard (TH).

4x800 relay: CA (H.Crown, C. Hubert, Vizzie, McCarthy) 11:27; 100m hurdles: A Soto (CA) :18.4; 100m: trom-Warren (CA) :13.6; 1500m: C. Hubert (CA) 6:16; 4x100 relay: CA (Wolbert, Strom-Warren, A. Chimento, DeLeon) :55.8; 400m: G. Bartels (CA) :68.7; 400m hurdles: A. Hubert (CA) :77.7; 800m: Crown (CA) 2:50; 200m: DeLeon (CA) 28.8; 3000m: C. Hubert (CA) 12:22: 4x400 relay: CA (Mattraw-Johnson, Crown, Hindrichen, A. Hubert) 4:56; Long jump: Mann (H) 14-4; Triple jump: Bartels (CA) 31-5.5; High jump: Briski (CA) 4-6; Shot put: Goldstien (H) 26-3/4;

Discus: Wolbert (CA) 69-8.5; Pole vault: Cenci, Inzerillo, Inzerillo, Rausch (CA) 6-0.

4x800 relay: CA (VanHousen, Rausch, Parde, M. Kunz) 10:48; 110m hurdles: Williams (CA) :19.4; 100m: Lazarra (CA) :12.0; 1600m: Smedstad (CA) 5:23; 4x100 relay: CA (Frances, Perino, Perino, Lazzara) :53.0; 400m: Allen (CA) :71.8; 400m hurdles: Williams (CA) :69.1; 800m: Braden (CA) 2:23; 200m: Gofran (H) :26.6; 3200m: Parde (CA) 12:21; 4x4oo relay: CA (Frances, R. Perino, Pilato, Rausch) 4:39; Long jump: Moorehouse (CA) 18-5; Triple jump: VanHousen (CA) 30-7.5; High jump: Lazzara (CA) 4-8; Shot put: Moore (CA) 35-2; Discus: Moore (CA) 80-2.5; Pole vault: Rausch (CA) 7-0.

4x800 relay: MH (Deso, Frazier, Noel, Pusteri) 12:05.3; 100m hurdles: Jacobs (MH) :17.4; 100m: Honsinger (MH) :14.1; 1500m: Frazier (MH) 5:53.9; 4x100 relay: MH (Jacobs, Fletcher, Hirschoff, Honsinger) :55.8; 400m: Thomas (MH) 1:10.3; 400m hurdles: Noel (MH) 1:22.9; 800m: Pusateri (MH) 2:55.9; 200m: Fletcher (MH) :29.7; 3000m: Pusateri (MH) 12:42.4; 4x400 relay: MH (Jacobs, Deso, Gillette, Thomas) 5:00.1; High jump: Allen (C) 4-0; Long jump: Allen (C) 14-2.5; Triple jump: Thomas (MH) 28-6; Shot put: Fletcher(MH) 26-0.5; Discus: Murphy (MH) 48-5.

4x800 relay: MH (Marra, Brewer, Basile, Leonitis) 11::01.7; 110m hurdles: Isbester (MH) :18.7; 100m: Pomykaj (MH) :11.9; 1600m: Marra (MH) 5:10.9; 4x100 relay: MH (Tuttle, Brewer, O’Brien, Pomikaj) :47.8; 400m: Sterantino (MH) :54.3; 400m hurdles: Isbester (MH) 1:06.6; 800m: Marra (MH) 2:20.9; 200m: Sterantino (MH) :25.5; 3200m: Marra (MH) 11:24.0; 4x400 relay: MH (Tuttle, Sterantino, Brewen, Thomas) 4:01.9; High jump: Hayden (C) 5-2; Long jump: Pomykai (MH) 19-7.5; Triple jump: Aleck (MH) 34-8.5; Shot put: Darling (C) 39-6; Discus: McCann (C) 109-7.

3200m relay: Rensselaer 12:14.33; 100m hurdles: Carri Flannery (G) :22.44; 100m: Caroline Kosich (G) :13.1; 1500m: Bryn Fitzmaurice (G) 5:43.19; 400m relay: Rensselaer :55.25; 400m: Aislinn O’Hare (G) 1:08.96; 400m hurdles: Rensselaer 1:32.21; 800m: n/a; 200m: Ella Mullholland (G) :28.41; 3000m: Makayla Crawley (G) 14:49.19; 1600m relay: Greenville (Aislinn O’Hare, Josie O’Hare, Fitzmaurice, Smith) 5:01.59; Long jump: Rensselaer 13-6; Triple jump Rensselaer 21-11; High jump: Slater (G) 4-6; Pole vault: n/a; Discus: Rensselaer 96-0; Shot put: Rensselaer 18-8.

3200m relay: Greenville (Kosich, Baumann, Barnes, Motta) 9:54.21; 100m hurdles: Rensselaer :20.3; 100m:Rensselaer :11.25; 1600m: Foster Britton (G) 5:20.68; 400m relay: Rensselaer :48.66; 400m: Rensselaer 1:04.9; 400m hurdles: Rensselaer 1:13.52; 800m: Jonas Britton (G) 2:29.93; 200m: Rensselaer :26.72; 3200m: Finn Kosich (G) 11:24.84; 1600m relay: Greenville (VanAuken, Pettit, Jonas Britton, Cullen) 4:19.97; Long jump: Wilson (G) 15-6; Triple jump: Wilson (G) 32-5; High jump: Cullen (G) 5-0; Pole vault: n/a; Shot put: Hempstead (G) 33-9; Discus: Troy Wank (G) 85-5.

KidsFirst promotes April as Child Abuse Prevention Month

April nationally is Child Abuse Prevention Month.KidsFirst, a nonprofit family counseling and resource center in Placer County, is joining in to emphasize the importance of child abuse prevention and how to recognize when a child is being abused.KidsFirst also coordinates the Child Abuse Prevention Council for Placer County. The board is comprised of KidsFirst representatives and council members from each city and town in Placer County.Last month, Roseville City Council and Lincoln City Council made proclamations within ...

April nationally is Child Abuse Prevention Month.

KidsFirst, a nonprofit family counseling and resource center in Placer County, is joining in to emphasize the importance of child abuse prevention and how to recognize when a child is being abused.

KidsFirst also coordinates the Child Abuse Prevention Council for Placer County. The board is comprised of KidsFirst representatives and council members from each city and town in Placer County.

Last month, Roseville City Council and Lincoln City Council made proclamations within both cities recognizing April as Child Abuse Prevention Month.

“There are more substantiated reports of child abuse and neglect for children under age five and children with disabilities,” KidsFirst’s communications director Mike Mason told Gold Country Media last week.

In 2021, 164 families from throughout the county were referred to Placer County Child Welfare for at least one substantiated allegation of child abuse.

While the number of substantiated allegations of child abuse has decreased by more than 60 percent since 2017, according to Placer County Child Welfare, the number of reports reached its peak in the last four years during 2021 with 3,765 referrals of suspected abuse.

“Nationwide, the referrals declined in 2020 due to children not showing up to school and mandated reporters not having an eye on students,” said Placer County Child Advocacy Center coordinator and KidsFirst volunteer Jessica Waterford.

Of the four types of child abuse, according to Mason, neglect is the most reported type of abuse nationwide, followed by physical abuse, emotional abuse and sexual abuse.

Explicit signs of neglect include a child looking unkempt, underfed or experiencing chronic, poor hygiene. Another huge sign of child neglect is when a child has difficulty concentrating because they are hungry.

When a child is being physically abused, those signs include inexplicable bruising and injuries on a child.

“A lot of times when a child can't explain or is inconsistent in explaining their physical injuries is a sign of abuse,” Mason said. “If you see a child sometimes covering up, and they're wearing inappropriate clothing for the season, they’re usually covering up an injury that’s left a mark.”

Children who are emotionally distant or acting inappropriate for their age are showing signs of emotional abuse, according to Mason.

The most common signs of sexual abuse include extreme passive, self-destructive and aggressive behavior as well as stained underclothes and genital injuries, according to Mason. Children who experience sexual abuse also express their knowledge about sex or interest in sexual facts, according to KidsFirst’s offiical website.

To emphasize the importance and awareness of child abuse prevention, KidsFirst will host training sessions throughout April on how to identify signs of abuse and how to report child abuse. The training sessions are open to the public via Zoom. Dates, times and links are on KidsFirst’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/KidsFirstNow.

Visit https://www.placer.ca.gov/7881/Child-Abuse-Prevention-Month to learn how Placer County plans to support Child Abuse Prevention Month.

“I think education is the biggest piece of (child abuse) prevention,” Waterford said. “Our child advocacy centers are always out in the community educating and bringing awareness because if you people don't know what to look for (in recognizing child abuse), then you don't know how to prevent it.”

In addition, KidsFirst encourages community members to wear blue every Friday to honor Child Abuse Prevention Month. The symbol of child abuse prevention is a blue pinwheel.

“We have hundreds of pinwheels we'd love to get out in the neighborhood in the community,” Mason said. “The pinwheels can be planted in gardens and lawns, and are drought-tolerant.”

KidsFirst invites community members to post photos of them wearing blue with their pinwheels, using the hashtag, “#kidsfirst”.

To learn more information on how to prevent child abuse, visit KidsFirst at kidsfirstnow.org. If you suspect or know a child experiencing abuse, you can make an anonymous report by calling Placer County Department of Child Protective Services at 866-293-1940.

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