Organizers of the “Stand Up for Kids” event estimate as many as 1,000-1,200 people attended the annual event last week. This year marked the third year in a row that the event was held at Simpson Park, across the street from two of the Bonham ISD schools.
“This location has been ideal,” said Sandy Barber with the Fannin County Children’s Center. “By planning this for the after school hours, we naturally get a lot of children, youth and families to attend.”
Lots of blue shirts and several signs with the slogans “No Excuse for Child Abuse” and “Stand Up for Kids” could be seen all throughout the park.
The event was planned on ‘Go Blue Day’ when people all over the state were encouraged to wear blue in honor of child abuse awareness. Barber said that she hopes the children and youth attending get the message that it is okay to tell someone if they are being harmed or touched in inappropriate ways. Statistics say one in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused by their 18th birthday. Of the children who are sexually abused, only one in ten children will tell about their abuse while they are still children.
Many different student organizations, non-profits and local businesses were a part of making the free family fun day happen. Rancho Condarco brought a petting zoo to the event again this year. Several student groups from Trenton and Bonham High Schools painted faces, ran games and other activities, monitored the bouncy house and obstacle course and more. Hot dogs donated by Fannin Bank and Brookshire’s were cooked up by the men in blue from the Bonham Police Department, Fannin County Criminal District Attorney’s Office and the Bonham Fire Department. Fannin County Electric Co-op provided popcorn and Legend Bank provided the cold drinks. Kwik Chek, Fannin County Head Start, Agrilife Extension Office, Morning Star Academy, Crisis Center and Fannin Peace Project organized various games and other activities. Fannin County Princess Savana Anderson assisted with one of the kids’ games too. Guardians of Children and Bikers Against Child Abuse (BACA) visited with children and families and let kids sit on their motorcycles. The Bonham Fire Department let kids look at and climb in a fire truck.
The Children’s Center organized the event and gave out 400 goodie bags. Christy Ocon and Jasmine Martinez were the lucky raffle winners of two kiddie cars donated by WalMart. For more information about the Children’s Center, go to www.fanninccc.org or call (903) 583-4339.