By Adam Brazeau
CORNWALL, Ontario - The message was loud and clear at the launch of the Children's Aid Society: Purple Ribbon Campaign. It's time to break the silence and teach children it's alright to speak up against abuse.
As Cornwall flocked to Lamoureux Park, Children's Aid Society (CAS) public relations manager Kimly Thivierge was standing in a sea of purple. Hundreds of spectators wore CAS shirts with, 'Break the Silence. Use Your Voice.' in bright yellow.
"Breaking the silence is about, breaking the shame of speaking out," said Thivierge. "Today is about protecting our kids."
A highlight of the event was when hundreds of people popped a brown paper bag. The 2012 break the silence record for participating poppers was officially broken.
"This event is for the children who are isolated and alone, we want to be able to give them back their voice," said Thivierge.
Caitlin Miller, 25, and Ryan Snyder, 27, were having fun with their two boys. Bryson Snyder, 4, and Tye Labelle, 8, joined in on a giant drum circle in the bandhsell.
"We're here to support the abused children," said Miller. "It's great to break the silence as a family."
The event pulled together multiple organizations, businesses, community leaders and members.
CAS staff were being dunked in water to raise money, free food was offered at the Benson's BBQ and organizations such as Red Cross and Big Brothers & Big Sisters of Cornwall and District were on hand.
Cornwall-native and soccer sensation Christina Julien was also there signing free autographed pictures. The Olympian garnered a lot of attention, taking time for group photos with young fans.
"It feels good to be a part of something so huge and for a cause that's very close to home," she said.
CAS encourages everyone to dress in purple at all their events during October. They are selling purple Break the Silence t-shirts for $10. Youth and adult sizes are available in both languages. Find them at Baxtrom’s YIG, Giant Tiger and CAS. Orders online will be ready soon.
For more information, click here.