Nearly four children die of child abuse each day in the United States. Here in Lubbock the Family Guidance and Outreach Center held their 4th Annual Memorial Ride and Candle Light Vigil to remember those children who died at the hands of child abuse in Texas.
"We do this to kick off our month. We get all the motorcyclist, classic cars and low riders together and we get out here and just kind of hang out for a bit," said Ami Hill-Rendon, event planner for the Family Guidance Center.
With April being national child abuse awareness month, hundreds of people gathered at Mackenzie Park Sunday evening to kick off the memorial ride. Motorcycle after motorcycle, and classic cars of all colors were adorned with blue ribbons, the color symbolizing child abuse.
"It's really just to increase awareness about the problem we do have with child abuse in the Lubbock community and in the state of Texas," said Hill-Rendon. "It's a cycle. If you grow up in an abusive family statistics show that you will be the abuser later and so we want to break that cycle."
As the ride ended at the Church of Nazarene, the candle light vigil began remembering the 242 children who died of child abuse last year in Texas.
"Good news is that's 38 precious lives less than last year," said one of the many guest speakers.
But even one life is too many. Candles covered the tables during the vigil, each with a single name of the 242 children who died. As their names were read…"Lily age 10 months old, Vanessa age 9," their lights were turned off.
"Let us all hope and pray that one of these days we won't need these events, and that people will be enlightened, educated and moral enough not to commit these crimes," said Mayor Tom Martin.
All the money raised during the memorial ride will stay right here in Lubbock at the Family Guidance Center to put on free classes to help prevent child abuse.
The center will also have its 13th Blue Ribbon Rally Car and Bike Show on April 30th in the Depot District. There they will raffle off a new Harley Davidson motorcycle. Last year the center was able to raise $100,000 during the rally.
To find out how to purchase raffle tickets or for more information on the Family Guidance Center (click here.)