OREGON, Ill. (WTVO) — Nathaniel Burton, a 7-year-old Ogle County boy, was murdered earlier this year. His mom, Sarah Safranek, was charged with his death, and sits in the Ogle County Jail.
Family and friends of Burton gathered at Oregon Elementary School, which he attended, on Saturday to rally against child abuse.
Becky Rhea, Burton’s foster mom, hopes that more people recognize the signs of child abuse.
“We don’t want his life to be in vein, we don’t wanna see this happen to any other children,” Rhea said. ” If you see a child, even if you’re in the store and you see abuse happening, or at school, you’re a teacher, anybody, a neighbor, to really speak up for that child.”
That is why she attended Saturday’s rally against child abuse in memory of Burton with her husband, and Burton’s foster dad, Danny Rhea.
“There should be no child that this every happens to. No child should ever be abused physically, mentally, verbally,” Danny said. “The abuse in our country has to stop with the children.”
Saturday’s rally included a parade of semis, trucks and vendors, with a 50/50 raffle and items from local businesses. The money will be donated to Oregon Elementary School.
Danny Rhea said that he hopes the event will bring attention to the abuse some children have to live with, and ways people can help.
“It’s time that we put up awareness in communities like here in Oregon, and other surrounding communities, that people will be aware of child abuse,” Danny said.