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Meridian in the News

Fun Fair draws another record crowd

Aug 27

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Saturday, August 27, 2011  RssIcon

There were lines to everything but no one seemed to mind Saturday at the fourth annual Gresham Center Fun Fair.

One of the longest lines was the one leading to the free child safety photo IDs provided by Life Touch Photo studio. “I had my baby and 2-year-old niece here earlier,” said Brandi Hileman, of Hartford City. “Then, I came back with my two nephews for this.”

Families received the free child ID, along with a free photo proof and instructions on how to order more. Charles Dent and Julia Baker were manning the booth for Life Touch. “It doubles every year,” said Charles of the number of children coming through. “We give parents updated photographs of their children. Just in case.”

Lindsey Coffee brought her two children for the fun and games. “It was something new to do,” she said as she sat on the grass with her children, soaking up the sun and sounds of Seth Cook of Cook and Belle.

It was the biggest crowd yet at the Gresham Center Fun Fair Saturday, where nearly 30 community health and safety providers talked to more than 2,000 visitors.

The Fun Fair is but one of several annual events by Meridian Services designed to raise awareness.

A year ago, Meridian became the first behaviorial health organization in the state to open a primary care division.

For Michelle Keppler, of Muncie, the Fun Fair was an introduction to something she’ll do again. She brought her two children and two neighbor children. “We’ll be back next year.”

Megan Templin, whose son is seen by staff, praised the event. “We’re actually are clients of Meridian.” We’ve been using services for six months and I can already see a big difference.”

Zach Hall, 9, a student at Grissom Elementary School, was winner of one of the raffles Saturday. He took home the Fun Fair outdoor prize basket. “We’re here to support the community,” said Sheri Murray, Zach’s godmother. “It’s wonderful what Meridian does,” said Murray, a transportation driver for Life Stream Services. “I know the kinds of needs that are out there. I try to do as much as I can.”

State Rep. Dennis Tyler, D-Muncie, was among friends of Meridian to turn out for the fourth annual Fun Fair Saturday. Tyler, who is running for mayor in Muncie, brought his 6-year-old grandson, CJ. “What they do here is amazing,” Tyler said. “It makes a difference.

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