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BANDON — They were seen throughout town, spinning in the wind (and rain), but why? On April 4, Bandon was adorned with colorful pinwheels — 1,000 in all, along with signs — to help raise awareness, education and prevention of child abuse. 

Each year, Bay Area Hospital's Kids' HOPE Center puts up pinwheels in April for National Child Abuse Prevention Month. This year, they put up 350 on its grounds in Coos Bay to represent the 350 cases of child abuse the center investigated in 2018. Last Wednesday, throughout Coos Bay and North Bend, 650 additional pinwheels were placed by local businesses and organizations whose donations benefit the Kids' HOPE Center.

Not to be outdone, on Thursday, Bandon schools and businesses placed their pinwheels. Mary Carol Roberson and Umpqua Bank branch manager Sara Kimball, both Bandon Rotarians, led the effort, raising thousands of dollars for Kids' HOPE Center. At the center's banquet on Saturday, Roberson was given a special Compassion Award for her efforts.

Already this year, the center has received 120 cases of child abuse to investigate. In 2018, Coos County had the highest rate of child abuse per capita in the state of Oregon.

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