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Fam Fest offers free day of fun

Aug 23

Written by:
Friday, August 23, 2013  RssIcon

from The Star Press 

MUNCIE — The late Eileen Moore, advocate for all children, enjoyed community activities that gave families time to have fun together.

She saw these events — such as the annual Gresham Health and Fun Fair — as opportunities for families to relieve their stress and remember what they love about each other, building memories to fall back on when times got tough.

To honor Moore’s lifelong work, Saturday’s fair — now known as the Fam Fest — will include “The Eileen Moore ‘We Have a Voice’ Walk/Run,” an opportunity for residents to join together to continue the late advocate’s work of listening to children and protecting them from child abuse.

“Eileen believed everyone had a role in protecting children from child abuse,” said Patty Covington, program director for the Child Advocacy Center at the Suzanne Gresham Center. “We want to continue to support her work and continue on in her memory. We all play a part in having healthy and safe children in our community.”

The “We have a voice” 5K walk/run had traditionally been held in April, during National Child Abuse Prevention Month. The move this year to August was to provide families and child abuse prevention advocates an opportunity to work together on “family, fitness and fun.”

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services suggests six ways to lower the risk of child abuse: Nurturing and attachment; knowledge of parenting and child development; parental resilience; social connections; concrete support for parents and social and emotional support for children.

The Fam Fest hopes to touch on each of these strategies by offering help in all areas.

In the past, the Gresham fair welcomed nearly 3,000 people to the one-day event, offering not only inflatable fun for children, but information for adults who want assistance with improving their mental and physical health as well as finding resources for their families.

“It’s a two-events-in-one day,” said Beth Clark, the marketing director for Meridian Health Services, which manages the Gresham Center. “Both of them meet our mission for the day, to bring people together to raise awareness about child abuse. And we can do that on this day by having some fun.”

All events on Saturday are free and open to the public.

Given the high price of entertaining families, providing parents with a free day to have fun with their children will relieve some parents’ stress, according to organizers.

Pizza, drinks, games and the walk/run are all free, although donations for the walk/run will be accepted.

Health screenings will also be available for all family members, as well as time to chat with local chiropractors about back and alignment problems.

Weather is expected to be great on Saturday and organizers hope the families will enjoy the outdoors this year at the Fam Fest.

Moore would want them to have a great time.

“Taking care of a family can be pretty stressful and taking everyone to a fair or something else can get so expensive, it just adds to that stress,” Clark said. “Eileen worked so hard to be a voice for all children ... and she could see how important things like this were for families. We’re happy to do this in her honor.”

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