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August 04, 2021

Rene Ryan 2021

HARRISBURG, Pa. (April 1, 2021) – 60 kilometers. 37.28 miles. The distance that Annville resident Rene Ryan ran in honor of a child in her town who had died from horrific abuse and neglect in early February 2021. She heard about the case on the local news and was determined to do something to honor the young boy. Her run gained support and turned into a fundraiser. She raised over $6,600 and collected more than 500 stuffed animals for the UPMC Pinnacle Children's Resource Center of Lebanon County, an organization that works diligently to prevent and reduce the trauma of child abuse and neglect.

The Children's Resource Center (CRC) is one of the oldest child advocacy centers in Pennsylvania and only one of four in the Commonwealth when it opened its doors in 1994. The CRC aims to reduce the trauma and aftermath of child abuse by providing a safe environment, forensic interviews, specialized medical care, and mental health services. The center relies on grants, community donations, and contracts with county children and youth agencies. Families are never billed for services they receive at the CRC, including ongoing trauma-focused therapy.

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, and in support of the Children's Resource Center, the UPMC Pinnacle Foundation will be deploying hundreds of blue pinwheels to 5 hospital locations through Central Pa. The blue pinwheels represent the carefree and bright childhood that most children should have, but some are robbed of. By acknowledging] abuse, and raising awareness the way Rene did, we can create conversations around prevention. "My kids walked out with a confidence I haven't seen before,” one parent said as they left the CRC. The CRC is "the first place they felt heard, validated, and believed,” said another.

When you see the shiny blue sea of pinwheels on your drive this April, take a moment to remember the plight of these unseen children and know that you too can make a difference to help prevent child abuse. Make a gift to the UPMC Pinnacle Foundation in support of Pinwheels for Prevention — all funds raised will go directly toward the needs of the UPMC Pinnacle Children's Resource Center and make an indelible difference in the life of a child. To learn more or support the campaign, visit