Facepainting, inflatable games, kids fingerprinting and a one mile fun run are just a few of the activities planned for the Monett Area YMCA's Healthy Kids Day, which will be held Saturday, April 18 from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Monett South Park.
"The key purpose of the event is to get kids involved in healthy activities, to help keep kids safe and to help people know about the different kids' activities that are available in the area," said Gordon Brown, executive of the YMCA.
In preparing for this year's event, the YMCA took a collaborative approach by involving local churches, organizations and other groups in the effort. According to Brown, the response from the community has been exceptional.
"I'm pretty excited because there are a lot groups that have jumped on board," said Brown.
Groups that will be sponsoring activities during Healthy Kids Day include: the Barry-Lawrence County Ambulance; Boys Scouts; First Baptist Church; First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ); First United Methodist Church; the Monett Fire Department, the Monett Library; the Monett Nazarene Church; the Monett Police Department; New Site Baptist Church; and Cox-Monett Hospital.
The various churches will be hosting games of all kinds and several will be providing entertainment in the form of puppet shows as well as music and drama performances.
Youngsters will also have the opportunity to be fingerprinted and to tour an ambulance and a fire truck through the involvement of the police, fire and ambulance personnel.
"When kids find themselves in an emergency situation, it's important that they understand and aren't scared of the people who are there to help them," Brown said.
The event will also provide children and parents with the opportunity to learn about the many youth activities offered throughout the community. In addition, there will be free snacks and jump ropes given out to children who attend.
A one-mile fun run is also part of the day's activities and will begin at 4:45 p.m. Those who enter the run will receive free T-shirts and water bottles. There is charge to enter the run.
Healthy Kids Day is geared to children in kindergarten through fifth grades and their families, but all area residents are welcome to attend the free event. In case of rain, Healthy Kids Day activities will be held at the Monett YMCA, located at 201 Euclid Ave.
In its sixth year, the event is expected to continue to grow as it has each year since its inception.
"Normally we have a couple of hundred kids there, and we're hoping to attract a whole lot more," said Brown.
Healthy Kids Day is a national YMCA event. The Monett Area YMCA will be one of over 1,500 YMCAs across the United States to hold similar events on April 18. The Cassville YMCA will be holding its Healthy Kids Day from 9 a.m. to noon on April 18 at the Family Life Center.
Any organization or individual that would like to get involved and volunteer to help with Healthy Kids Day can contact Gordon or Stacy at 235-8213.