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Mall, MSU Extension to host youth event

April 10, 2008
Janelle Packer
On April 19, parents and children are invited to the Alpena Mall from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for a celebration in honor of April, the month of the young child.

The event is sponsored in part by Child and Youth Family Services 4C of Northeast Michigan.

“It’s service organizations that get together to let people know what is out there and it is a celebration of children,” said Genny Domke, resources and referral for Child and Youth Family Services 4C.

This is the 11th year for the event Domke said, and this year there will be 13 different booths from one end of the mall to the other for parents and children to get information and participate in activities.

Some of the booths include DARE, Michigan State University Extension, Alpena Regional Medical Center, District Health Department No. 4 and the Asthma Coalition.

In addition, there will be a scavenger hunt available for the children to participate in. Those interested can visit the information booth by the JCPenney Home Store to get started.

From there, the children must visit all the booths and get a stamp; when they are finished they return with a full card and they will receive a prize.

While each of the booths will have information for parents, they also will have a craft activity for the children, such as necklaces or bookmarks.

The event is free and open to the public, and while there may be a couple of fund-raisers going on, Domke said there is no charge for any of the information parents will receive.

“I want parents to come away from this knowing they are not alone, and there are organizations that are out there to network with,” Domke said.

There also will be some entertainment at the event. St. Anne Bell Choir will perform on center stage at 12 p.m. Domke estimates the performance will last approximately 30 minutes.

Following the choir, the Discover Zone will be giving a presentation for visitors.

There also will be some special guests for the event, including Buster the Bus and Dollar Dog from the Alpena Alcona Area Credit Union.

Visitors also are encouraged to take items to help support the Baby Pantry. The pantry needs items such as powdered baby formula, diapers up to size six, baby wipes, cribs, baby clothes and strollers.

Those interested in making a donation should look for the pantry’s colorful playpen.

The color for the month of the young child event is purple. Domke said there will be purple banners, ribbons and table cloths in honor of the month.

In addition to providing parents with information they may find useful and having fun activities for the children, Domke is hoping the event will help bring parents and children together.

“We want to bring awareness to parents and help them to interact with their children. We want them to hug their children, play games with their children, to do things with them to expand their knowledge,” she said.

Janelle Packer can be reached via e-mail at or by phone at 358-5695.

Fact Box

What: Month of the Young Child Celebration
When: Saturday, April 19 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Where: Alpena Mall



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