Visitors to the Indiana Welcome Center can now view 77 chairs as part of ‘Chair'ish the Children, a chair decorating contest presented by Prevent Child Abuse Lake County in which participants submit decorated chairs representing what it means to cherish our community's children.

The child-sized chairs will be on display through Wednesday, April 29, in conjunction with the Cruisin' through The Times exhibit. On April 29, a special reception will be hosted from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. During the reception, the one-of-a-kind chairs will be auctioned, with proceeds used to assist with future child abuse prevention programming. Light refreshments will be served and a suggested donation of $5 will be accepted at the door.

"We raised more than $2,100 last year," said Sharon Hylek, PCALC treasurer and Chair'ish the Children committee chairperson. "While we do use the auction as a fundraising opportunity, currently, the project is designed more as an opportunity to raise awareness about the issue of child abuse. The key to prevention is education." PCALC also receives grant funding for the Chair'ish the Children project from Geminus Community Partners.

Now in its fifth year at the Indiana Welcome Center, the display includes categories for middle school students, high school students and adult organizations that work with children. During the reception, a panel of local artists and teachers will judge the chairs and award the top three schools in both the middle and high school categories with a cash prize to assist with their art department. The adult category is not eligible for a cash prize.

Visitors will be able to vote for their favorite three chairs through April 26. The chair in both the student and the adult categories with the most votes will be awarded "People's Choice" during the reception.

PCALC is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to prevent child abuse and neglect through education, increased awareness, and advocacy. PCALC is affiliated with Prevent Child Abuse Indiana and provides education to schools and organizations on Shaken Infant Syndrome, along with distributing hospital packets to new mothers in local hospitals.

For more information about the event, or about PCALC, visit www.pcalc.org or email the organization at pcalc@hotmail.com.