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May 5, 2012

 Thousands of silver ribbons to be given out in Schuylkill to raise awareness of elder abuse
Stephen J. Pytak Republican & Herald, Pottsville, Pa.
May 3, 2012
This year, Silver Ribbon Week will become Silver Ribbon Month.
The event held annually since 2008 was created to raise awareness of elder abuse through the sale of silver ribbons.
The Board of Directors of the Schuylkill Elder Abuse Prevention Alliance decided to make the change, according to Eileen Barlow, ombudsman housed at MidPenn Legal Services, Pottsville, and chairwoman of the 2012 Silver Ribbon campaign.
"A week didn't seem enough time to get the message out there," Barlow said Monday.
"We wanted to spread it out the whole month. Since May is Older Americans Month, we wanted to do more activities. And we wanted to grow," said Georgene Fedoriska, executive director of the Schuylkill County Office of Senior Services.
Meanwhile, demand for the ribbons is on the rise.
Lee Yeager, Pine Grove, was rushing about Monday morning with bundles of silver ribbons in hand. There were bigger ones, the size of coconut cream pies, and bags of smaller ribbon loops on pins, the kind which could accent a lapel.
"This week, we're going to deliver about 3,000 small ribbons and about 110 of the big ones," Yeager said as she packed them into her car.
More than 2,000 have been made and orders for them are still being taken.
"Every year, there's more requests. And this is just to build awareness because there are a lot of people who don't even think there is such a thing as elder abuse," Yeager said.
A team of six volunteers started sizing and packaging the smaller ribbons in December.
Packs of these are given to businesses, nursing homes and other organizations which request them. The businesses, in turn, give them out to customers.
"This bag here is going to Hometown Nursing. This one is going to Simpson United Methodist Church in Gordon. And these are going to St. Richard's Church in Barnesville," Yeager said, offering a few examples.
Each of the smaller silver ribbons is accompanied by information about Silver Ribbon Month

Abridged
SOURCE:     The Chicago Tribune
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