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‘Shine the Light’ event set for Saturday

Xavier Smith • Apr 26, 2017 at 2:07 PM

An event Saturday will look to honor the strength and spirit of one child abuse survivor, inspire others and raise awareness for child abuse in Wilson County.

The Shine the Light event will take place Saturday at Cumberland University from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event, conducted by the Keith Edmonds Foundation, will be an upbeat and inspiring day to raise public awareness regarding child abuse.

Keith Edmonds Foundation founder, child abuse survivor and advocate Keith Edmonds said the event would pay tribute to Josh Osborne, who was the victim of one of the most horrific cases of child abuse in Wilson County.

Wilson County school children will participate in the family event, and the school with the most students in attendance will be presented an award by the foundation. It was announced last week the annual award would be named the Josh Osborne Award as a lasting tribute to the young man who lived his adult life not as a victim, but as a forgiving survivor.

“Josh epitomizes what we stand for, and everything we’re trying to accomplish,” Edmonds said.

Osborne was discovered in 2004 in his Lebanon home after he was tied to his bed for nine years and only allowed to have soup and water. The 15 year old only weighed 50 pounds when he was discovered.

Osborne’s case was responsible for the enactment of tougher child abuse laws in the state. In 2008, the state legislature passed a law that requires anyone convicted of child abuse to serve his or her full sentence.

The bill was introduced in honor of Osborne, and starvation and dehydration were added to the list of child abuse offenses.

Osborne died in 2014 at 24 years old after struggling with health issues most of his life.

The event will also feature the largest human pinwheel on Cumberland University’s soccer field at 1 p.m. The pinwheel is a symbol of child abuse prevention.

The Keith Edmonds Foundation will hold its first Camp Confidence this summer at Cumberland University. More than 100 children in Wilson County who have open child abuse cases will be served through the camp that will focus on self worth and self esteem.

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