Some of the best childhood memories people have involve growing up on the playground, and the Kiwanis Club of Portsmouth is working to foster those types of memories, as they finalize their plans for their annual Kids Day event.
For 101 years, in the Portsmouth area, Kiwanis has created opportunities for children to be curious, safe and healthy regardless of the community in which they live. Portsmouth is but one chapter of many and they strive to foster community and provide benefits for children across the region.
According to the Kiwanis website, “Kiwanis empowers communities to improve the world by making lasting differences in the lives of children. Kiwanis strives to be a positive influence in communities worldwide — so that one day, all children will wake up in communities that believe in them, nurture them and provide the support they need to thrive. Our Kiwanis club fulfills the Kiwanis mission by serving our community through Kiwanis Community Service Projects.”
The group will have food items ranging from hot dogs, snow cones, popcorn, apples, and various other snacks.
They also report that there will be plenty of fun activities for the children to participate in.
“A lot of these things are typical,” Kiwanis’s Rick Morgan said. “We will have face painting and the inflatables, the fire department, sack races, Wendy from Wendy’s Old-Fashioned Hamburgers will be there with balloons, Jenny Richards will be bringing reptiles, a petting zoo will be set up, a magic show and more. We make it big and try to do as much as we can. There is something for everyone, since we pack a lot into two hours.”
All children who attend the event will also leave with a free book and any child under the age of five will leave with a subscription to the monthly Dolly Parton Imagination Library.
“We want to stress there will be paying for none of this. This is something we do every year, thanks to fundraising efforts like our Pancake Dinner,” Morgan said. “We take care of everything.”
The free, annual Kids Day event takes place in Tracy Park, which hosts the playground built by Kiwanis in 2009. The event has peaked at just under 500 children and averages around 250.
When asked why the local Kiwanis chapter goes through the effort of putting together such a large event every year, Morgan explained that the answer is simple.
“Kiwanis is a global organization that puts their weight behind benefiting children, especially under-served ones,” Morgan said, “So, we focus on children and improving lives. We can do this, because of the people in our group and the community that supports us.”
Kiwanis Kids Day will be held September 17, between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., in Tracy Park.
Reach Joseph Pratt at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1928, by email at [email protected], © 2022 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved