Simple stones with a powerful punch: 'Rock Around the County' event to mark sexual assault awareness month

Simple stones with a powerful punch: 'Rock Around the County' event to mark sexual assault awareness month
Rock Around the County (Source: KFDA)

BORGER, TX (KFDA) - Simple stones are packing a powerful message -- raising awareness of sexual assault in the community.

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"It is an issue in our community and it is something that needs to be addressed," said Norma Luginbyhl, Executive Director of the Hutchinson County Crisis Center, who also noted that the crisis center sees around 80 child sexual assault cases each year.

Highlighting that issue is the goal of the "Rock Around the County" campaign created by the Hutchinson County Crisis Center, which has area officials and citizens painting rocks that will be displayed around the community.

"It gave them an opportunity to take something that would cost nothing to them, but with a little bit of their time, it would bring awareness to sexual assault," said Luginbyhl.

While some of the rocks are themed to the organization or department that made them, others are covered in messages of strength and inspiration for anyone who may come across them.

"This has been the most amazing project for us," said Luginbyhl. "Right now, we have about 175 rocks that have been painted and turned in."

Many departments showed their creative side, from the Borger Police and Fire Departments to the Borger Independent School District.

Lisa Renick, an art teacher at Borger High School, says she was approached to help paint the rock for the police department.

"He brought me a rock and we decided how we were going to do it and I drew it off and painted it," said Renick.

She says the experience helped incorporate her students into the powerful message of the campaign.

"That was good for them to see what I was doing because they were very interested in what I was doing and why I was doing it," said Renick.

In a way to further incorporate the community, the crisis center is organizing a scavenger hunt this weekend.

The rules for the scavenger hunt are actually pretty simple. Find one of the rocks hidden around Hutchinson County, take a selfie with it and then post it to your social media, making sure to tag the Hutchinson County Crisis Center in your post.

"Take a picture, please don't take them, leave them for the next person," said Luginbyhl with an important reminder for participants.

The person with the most photos after the hunt ends on Monday will win a prize, that has yet to be announced.

Afterward, the rocks will be collected and displayed in a new rock garden at the crisis center's shelter, even including symbols of hope for the children coming into the shelter.

"The ladybugs and the penguins. Actually, my granddaughter, it was her idea to do them because she said, 'Nana, what about the children?'" said Luginbyhl. "There's things for them and it's also to tell them, 'someone cared enough about you, they knew you might be here, and they wanted to make sure you had something that brightens your day.'"

As April marks Sexual Assault Awareness Month, the rocks serve as stepping stones to keeping assault awareness throughout the year for the community, beyond this month.

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