Halloween event gives kids candy and playgrounds
By Amanda Raymond
On Halloween, kids can have a good time for a good cause at the Rowan County Fairgrounds.
Kids Athletics for Life, a non-profit organization, is hosting a Halloween Kids Night Out event on Oct. 30 from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Oct. 31 from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Proceeds from the event will be used to build a playground for a local school.
Julie Tardif, owner of Kids Athletics for Life, said the event will save parents from bouncing from place to place on Halloween night. But more than that, she will be able to give back to the community.
“Being able to be involved with the schools and helping with the community to make a difference to our schools, that’s all I want,” Tardif said.
The event will feature trick or treating for kids, games, craft stations, music, a glow party, music from the band Too Much Toni, a haunted cemetery walk, face painting and many more activities.
All former and present police officers, firefighters, emergency medical service workers and the military will receive free admission with proper proof.
There will also be 42 different vendors, including food vendors with foods like barbecue and chicken and dumplings for sale.
Tardif said there are many school playgrounds that need repairs to be safe for children.
“There’s some schools that don’t have playgrounds. There’s some schools that have playgrounds that are so broken that they’re taped up,” she said.
Sometimes schools have to focus on getting money for other necessities, and fixing up playgrounds has to be placed on a back burner, Tardif said.
“It takes forever for a school to get permission to get these items worked on and sometimes there are more important things in the school that they need, like books, so they can’t fix the playground,” she said. “So, with the help of me and with the help of doing events like this, I can raise money to give it to the school.”
Tardif said physical activity is just as important as classroom learning for kids.
“I believe all kids need to have fun at the same time as learning and being in school. And all kids need to have athletics in their daily routine,” she said.
Ed Bounds, owner of Dakota and Friends, said having good playgrounds in schools can help to decrease childhood obesity.
“If we at least give them a chance to play … that can be life-changing,” Bounds said.
Bounds also said when he was growing up, he learned important life lessons on the playground.
“We learn how to interact with each other on the playground,” he said.
There will be a Jurassic dinosaur walk at the event in which attendees will be able interact with life-like dinosaurs provided by Dakota and Friends. The dinosaurs respond to people, blink, move their heads around and even burp and sneeze.
Bounds, who makes the larger dinosaurs come alive by getting inside the dinosaurs and walking around, said helping build playgrounds for schools was at least one problem he could help remedy.
“You can’t fix everything, but you can do something. And that’s what this is about,” Bounds said.
Kids Athletics for Life also partnered with Fun Time Events to donate more money to local schools. For every student who submits a Halloween KNO flyer with the name of their school’s PTA, Kids Athletics for Life will donate $1 to that school.
At the door, admission is $10 for adults and kids over 12 and $5 for kids from 4 to 11. Advance tickets are also available for $7 for adults and kids over 12 and $3 for kids from 4 to 11. Call Julie Tardif at 704-310-0354 for more information. Tickets can be purchased at funtime-event.ticketleap.com.
“There’s going to be the (kids) who come to it, and the ones who wished they did,” Bounds said.
Contact reporter Amanda Raymond at 704-797-4222.
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