Family health and safety event to round out summer with games, fun and prizes

·3 min read

As a new school year approaches, many families brace themselves for early mornings and busy schedules. This makes August the perfect time to have fun with the family, and there’s no better way to do so than at the Community Family Health and Safety Summer event.

Families can enjoy obstacle courses, face painting, art studios, temporary tattoos, games, and more, while learning about family health and safety. More than 20 community organizations have partnered to cover a variety of topics such as home safety, physical activity, bike safety, oral health, hand hygiene, healthy snacks, literacy, inclusion, and self-advocacy, to name a few.

“The activities are geared towards elementary aged children, but I think that most families could find something that they would be excited about,” says Carly Pruys, health educator from the Northwestern Health Unit, who organized the event with Robyn Dennis, FASD and child nutrition coordinator at the Gizhewaadiziwin Health Access Centre.

“Myself, I am a parent of two children,” says Dennis, “so I am aware of the things that come up in my daily life that I’m curious about or want to learn more about to keep them safe and keep them healthy.”

Pruys shares her sentiment, expressing that although she doesn’t have her own children, she believes that it is important for families to engage with public health services so that they can make healthy choices. Recognizing that not many are aware of the wide variety of health services in town, Pruys and Dennis invited as many public health organizations as their two-person team could handle.

“We let each agency or organization choose their own health or safety topic,” Pruys said, explaining the planning process. “Each agency picked out what they felt needed to be put out there, which also speaks to itself, because each organization is really the expert behind what they think is going to be an asset for their own clients and their own community.”

Upon arrival, participants will sign-in with Pruys and Dennis and receive a “passport” used to collect stamps from community partner booths. At the end of the event, participants can enter a raffle to win prizes such as a kayak, large outdoor games, or various books and giveaways.

“We wanted to keep the prizes as things that kids could engage with either outdoors, or that they would use away from screen-based activities,” says Pruys. “Personally, I think that it’s a pretty cool prize and I would love to win that even now.”

Treaty three police service, OPP, CN police, Northwestern Health Unit, Gizhewaadiziwin Health Access Centre, United Native Friendship Center, Fort Frances Public Library, Tribal Health Services, and Community Living Fort Frances will be in attendance, to name a few.

Each organization will be situated by a table and tent with more information about their services, and host activities for kids. It will be an opportunity for representatives to make new connections as well. Pruys and Dennis hope to make this an annual event and plan to invite more organizations in the future.

This is a free entry event and food is provided while supplies last. Donations will be collected and distributed to local food banks. The event will take place on Tuesday, August 23 from 3-7 p.m. at the St. Francis Sports Fields.

For more questions or inquiries, contact Carly Pruys at cpruys@nwhu.on.ca or Robyn Dennis at rdennis@gizhac.com.

Elisa Nguyen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Fort Frances Times