Party in the Park focuses on family health

Rotary continues efforts in Children at Play
May. 01, 2013 @ 06:00 AM

Last year, the city of Thomasville celebrated the opening of seven new parks as part of the Thomasville Rotary Club’s Children at Play initiative. A number of Chair City organizations will host "Party in the Park" at Turner Street Park from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 7.

The party builds on their successful campaign from 2012.

"This is sort of a continuation of the events we held last summer and early fall, when we opened our new playgrounds," said Mary Jane Akerman, wellness coordinator with Communities In Schools of Thomasville. "We had such a good turn out, we really want the whole community to come out and enjoy this, as sort of a celebration of spring. After all, what a great reason to come out and enjoy time with the family."

Children at Play was developed as a way to increase community involvement and awareness to promote nutritional education, healthier living and physical activity. Party in the Park is one of the events which was developed as a result of the initiative.

Partners from last year's event will return to facilitate this year's event. Tom A. Finch YMCA, Thomasville Parks and Recreation, Davidson County Health Department, Novant Health Thomasville Medical Center and Davidson County Cooperative Extension will again team to welcome the community to Turner Street Park.

Children and adults of all ages are invited to participate in free throw, hula hoop and obstacle course contests. Age categories are divided between toddlers, grades kindergarten through third, fourth through fifth, middle and high school and adults. Akerman said winners of each age category will get a T-shirt  as a sort of badge of honor.

"We will have tables set up with all the different organizations involved and different contests for all ages," said Cory Tobin, program director with Thomasville Parks and Recreation. "In trying to raise community awareness and promote these parks as part of the Children at Play initiative, we just want to see people get out and be active.

"Last year, it was more about the park openings. This year, we're looking to just get people out to enjoy them."

Most booths will give away information on health. Light snacks, fruit and water will be distributed.

Akerman said she anticipates Party in the Park will become a quarterly meeting, rotating to a different park each time.

Turner Street Park is located at 400 Turner St. in Thomasville.

Staff Writer Daniel Kennedy can be reached at 888-3575, or kennedy@tvilletimes.com.