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Wearing purple for a cause

Associate minister joins Purple Day celebrations

Students gathered to recognize Dress Purple Day in Durham recently. This group of students placed beach balls with positive messages about children’s safety in a large purple parachute, and sent the messages towards the ceiling. (Photo by Dave Flaherty)

By Dave Flaherty/The Oshawa Express

Over the past few decades, the colour purple has become synonymous with the safety and protection of children and youth.

This message was once again reiterated during a recent event held in Brooklin.

On Thursday, Oct. 24, the Durham Children’s Aid Society partnered with schools, and early learning and childcare centres across Durham to celebrate Dress Purple Day.

Those in attendance joined thousands across Ontario to speak up for every child and youth’s right to safety and well-being.

Jill Dunlop, Associate Minister of Children and Women’s Issues, was impressed by the enthusiasm shown by the 100 children in attendance.

“This is awesome… you should all be proud of yourselves for wearing purple and being supportive,” Dunlop remarked, noting purple happens to be her favourite colour.

She said children and youth are most often the “most vulnerable” citizens in a community.

“We have a moral obligation to protect children from abuse, and if you suspect a child is a victim of abuse, you have an obligation to report it,” Dunlop said.

Regional Chair John Henry credited the work the Durham Children’s Aid Society does.

“They do an amazing job,” Henry said.

According to Henry, it truly takes the whole community to take care of its children.

“It’s our respective responsibility to ensure our youth and children have the support and confidence to grow into happy, healthy, and productive adults,” he said.

The chair also recognized Oct. 24 as Child Care Worker and Early Childhood Educator Appreciation Day.

“I would like to acknowledge the commitment, hard work, and professionalism of our childcare workers and early childhood educators,” he said.

At the end of the event, students placed approximately 100 beach balls, featuring positive messages about safety, in two large 12-foot purple parachutes.

Students and other guests began flapping the parachutes, sending the beach balls into the air.