Tables and tents overt the parking lot of Owensboro's Towne Square Mall Friday evening as community members -- of all ages -- rallied together for a very important cause.
"Our goal is to have a great event for our community to bring awareness," said event organizer Kristy James.
April is Child Abuse Awareness Month and James said as the number of abuse cases continues to rise in the Commonwealth it's vital to get the word out to the community.
"Child abuse prevention is so important and letting families know that there is support out there for them if they are suffering through any stress or anything like that and there is services out there," she said. "We just want to let families know that they're supported."
Last year's campaign couldn't happen because of the pandemic, but this year community advocates were determined to see it through, even if it meant changing gears and turning it into a drive-thru event.
"We were very hopeful for a good turnout," said Samantha Sigler, executive director of the Children's Advocacy Center for the Green River District. "It's so great to see our children here and to be in person with them again because of the pandemic, so many things have shifted and been different."
The event may have only lasted a few hours, but for advocates and sponsors taking part, the fight against child abuse is an ongoing battle.
Kentucky ranks No.1 in the nation for child abuse cases, a statistic Sigler wants to see changed.
"That's not something we want to be known for so we all need to, not just in the month of April, but throughout the year, continue that education and outreach and advocacy for our kids to keep them safe," Sigler said.
During the three and a half hour event, advocacy partners handed out resources as community members made their way down the line, all taking a stand against child abuse.