Run/walk, fair, commemorates Victims Rights Week

BALDWIN — Victims Rights Week, a week set aside to help those who have been victimized by crime and teach others how to avoid being victimized, will take place April 20 through 26. Lake County will be commemorating this cause with a day of activities both educational and fun.

The day will start at 3 p.m. at Lake County High School with a fun run/walk to the Lake County Court House. There, walkers will place pinwheels on the court house's front lawn and proceed to a fair in nearby Hollister Park. The fair will feature several attractions, including games, a bounce house, food and drinks and displays from several local organizations set up to educate the community on the resources available to them in the area.

"Anyone can be a victim of crime, so we're trying to show people what the resources are which can help them," said Belinda Barbier, Lake County assistant prosecutor and one of the organizers of the Lake County event. "This is something everyone should care about."

Among the groups who will be taking part are the Michigan State Police, Lake County Sheriff, the Children's Trust Fund, the Department of Human Services, COVE, Head Start and 4-H Extension. Many people in the community are banding together to aid the public through Victim Rights Week and leading the charge is Lake County Victims Advocate Jim Holden.

"We're hoping to get everyone in the community involved," said Holden. " We don't want just those near the event to take part, but the whole county."

Victims Rights Week coincides with Child Abuse Month, something Barbier said they took to heart when planning the events.

"We just hope people can come out and see what services are there and how we are there to help," explained Barbier.

Holden was one of four advocates chosen to appear in a commercial for the Crime Victim's Rights Commission, set to air during Victims Rights Week. Holden said the commercial and everything else they are trying to do goes towards one goal: helping those who have been victimized.

"The more we can make people aware, the better," said Holden. "They need to know there are organizations to help them and there are a lot of people out there like me who are there to serve victims. This event will go a long way towards raising awareness of that."

More information is available by calling Holden at (231) 745-7383.