Some of South Dakota children’s advocates came together in the Capitol’s rotunda Wednesday Jan. 22 for Children’s Day at the Capitol.

The Center for the Prevention of Child Maltreatment (CPCM) was one of the Day’s sponsoring groups. There were representatives from social workers, law group, Avera Medical, school psychologists; and even Bikers against Child Abuse was there.

“Children’s Day at the Capital is an opportunity for our agencies, our support groups and our professional workers to come together to educate community members and our legislators about the good work that is happening,” said Carrie Sanderson, director CPCM.

Sanderson feels that the frontline workers in child advocacy need to be celebrated. Workers and almost two dozen pediatricians were in attendance. The event included food of pulled pork, brisket and buns for the legislators, special guests and the general public.

“The good thing we are doing is that we are unifying the work that’s happening across the state of South Dakota,” Sanderson said. “That is essential, because if we don’t work together we are not going to make the impact we need. We are too small of a state to not work smarter, and this is a perfect opportunity for organizations to come together to support the welfare of the child.”

Deb Soholt, South Dakota state senator and chairperson of the CPCM advisory board, was in attendance as well.

“I think the importance (of the event) is the kids in our state. So many times we can say they are just little kids, but the bottom line is they are our future,” Soholt said. “We understand in our state we have children who are vulnerable, that do not have the kind of support they need to grow to become the kind of people that they deserve to be.”

The security officer from the local Oahe Chapter of Bikers Against Child Abuse, “Limo,” stood like a pillar, but approachable pillar, next to the pillars just outside the rotunda as the guest speakers made their case from the stage and podium to the bustling audience. With a smile behind his well grown beard, Limo was here for business.

“It’s a great networking day,” Limo said. “It’s the majority of why I came. Just networking with the other agencies, finding out who’s who and who’s where.”

After the two speakers, lunch was served and folks schmoozed from booth to table, collecting schwag, sometimes chocolate, but always information to come together to help the future generations.

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