By Fran Lyons

IF YOU GO
What:
Kids Day Maricopa
When: Sept. 21, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Where: Maricopa Wells Middle School, 45725 W. Honeycutt Ave.
How much: Free
Info: kidsdaymaricopa@yahoo.com

Celebrating its 12th year, Kids Day Maricopa will be Sept. 21 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Maricopa Wells Middle School, 45725 W. Honeycutt Ave.

Free, fun and educational, Kids Day Maricopa offers an array of resources that expand awareness and bring attention to the three key components of the event: Health, Safety and Environmental considerations.

With the focus on children, specific topics this year will address how to prepare for and manage excessive heat in our desert climate, water safety and “Stranger Danger.”  Tips and tools will inform and illustrate how to recognize potential risks, develop strategies and form a plan to maximize safety.

Of course, almost any kid will tell you the biggest reason to go to Kids Day Maricopa is the free stuff.  Free food, free toys and free balloons.  Also at the top of list is face painting, appearances by sports mascots “Big Red” of the Cardinals, the Diamondbacks’ “Baxter” and “Striker” and “The Sidewinders” of the Rattlers.

There will also be a special appearance by “Smokey Bear” who is handing out cupcakes in celebration of his 75th birthday. McGruff, the crime prevention dog, will also be there waiting to greet kids and share some great ideas.

Maricopa Police Department will feature K-9 demos and motorcycle demos, among their presentations designed to inform and instruct, as well provide an exciting experience and entertain the audience. Say hi to Sgt. Hal Koozer while you’re there.

You won’t want to miss former Harlem Globetrotter Anthony “Buckets” Blakes’ presentation “Above the Influence.” Using the game of basketball as a model and a practice, along with his youth program’s four tenets – communication, attitude, respect and education, Blakes teaches kids to rise above peer pressure and develop personal life skills.

All this and much more is being delivered by Dr. John Donohue and his wife May, the founders and hosts of the event, with the help and support of a core group of dedicated senior volunteers and recruited volunteer teams, including students.

“Over the years we have amassed over 1,000 contacts and a multitude of event resources,” Donohue said. “Our volunteers are the heart of the program. Just the joy and the impact of Kids Day Maricopa on the community is an inspiration and my greatest reward. That is our mission accomplished.”

For information on hosting a booth, being a sponsor or volunteering call 520-494-7788 or e-mail: kidsdaymaricopa@yahoo.com or drjohnd1@yahoo.com.

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