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Pinwheel Challenge Trophy

The town of Upper Lake was awarded the Lake County Children’s Council’s inaugural Pinwheel Challenge trophy, honoring the community’s display of pinwheels to raise awareness of child abuse prevention, during the National Child Abuse Prevention Month in April.

The students of the Kelseyville High School Ag Mechanics class created the bronze pinwheel trophy under the direction of Mr.  Michael Zeni. The pinwheel is a national symbol for child abuse prevention because it serves as a reminder of the great childhoods we want for all children.

The Lake County Office of Education’s Ana Santana, Director of the Lake County Children’s Council, and Healthy Start Youth & Family Services, said, “It was exciting to see so many great displays of pinwheels in Lake County this year. Upper Lake was awarded this trophy because of the sheer heart the entire community put into this project.”

There were many Lake County participants in this year’s Pinwheel Garden Challenge including individuals, communities, agencies, schools and more. Lake County Probation, Lake Family Resource Center, Tule House, Supervisor Tina Scott and family, and Middletown Unified School District were just a few of the wonderful displays of pinwheels.

Santana adds, “What was wonderful about Upper Lake’s display is that the pinwheels were handmade and hand colored by the children of Upper Lake, the population that we are working so hard to safeguard.”

Joy Marcks, Education Director, Habematolel Pomo of Upper Lake said, “This was a collaborative effort. Paper pinwheel decorations were courteous of youth who attend Habematolel Pomo of Upper Lake Education Center, the kindergarten classes of Mrs. Wurm and Ms. Glenn at Upper Lake Elementary School, and Upper Lake Head Start Half Day Site.”

Many Upper Lake businesses displayed the pinwheels including the Upper Lake Post Office, Highlights by Amanda, Upper Lake Water District, Country Carpets, Mi Chelas Mexican Restaurant, Habematolel Pomo of Upper Lake Tribal Office, Double Dee’s Coffee Shop and the Gingerbread Barn.

April has been established as National Child Abuse Prevention Month, and communities across the nation participate to raise awareness about abuse prevention. Child abuse is expensive. The cumulative financial impact to the Lake County community for the 136 verified child victims last year is $29.3 million. Though these costs are accrued over the course of the victim's life, Lake County will continue to incur the same cost each year until we are able to reduce and ultimately end child abuse.

The Lake County Children’s Council is administered through the Lake County Office of Education, and is a consortium of several local agencies who work towards child abuse prevention in Lake County. It is funded through the California Department of Social Services and other grants. The goal statement is, “Child abuse prevention through the transformation of Lake County into a trauma informed, resilience focused community.” For more information please visit