Fun Day is a chance for good time, serious message

August 06, 1997

Fun Day is a chance for good time, serious message


Staff Writer, Charles Town

RANSON, W.Va. - Ranson Police Chief Bill Roper expects he'll be sitting in a dunking booth, waiting for some eager kid to throw a strike and send him into the water.

It's the price he expects to pay for missing a meeting and being elected in absentia to serve as the chairman for the Fun Day Expo '97 at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds on Saturday. The event runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

About 1,500 children and parents attended last year's event. This is the third year for the festival.

Roper said that although the event is filled with games to provide children a good time, there are also serious messages to be passed along.


There will be demonstrations on the importance of wearing safety belts and booths explaining the importance of saying no to drugs and alcohol, Roper said.

There also will be a demonstration on how to correctly leave a burning house, Roper said.

Prizes to children will range from portable radios to bicycle helmets, Roper said.

Parents also can receive instructions on how to properly install a child safety seat and can have their safety seats inspected, Roper said.

Teams of 10 or more children will compete against individual police and firefighters with the loser ending up in a puddle of water, Roper said.

The event is sponsored by local police departments and fire and rescue companies as well as the Clean-FOCUS Coalition.

As a way to encourage children to meet with police officers and firefighters, the children will be given sticker booklets.

Each officer and rescue person will have stickers to give the children and then will sign their names under them, Roper said.

Children who get five or 10 stickers will receive prizes.

Roper said the event gives the children and their parents a chance to meet the police officers and firefighters in a different way.

Many times, Roper will hear parents in a restaurant say to their children that if they don't behave, the police officer will take them away.

That gives children the wrong image of police officers, Roper said.

The events allow children to see police officers as regular people and also as someone who is friendly and helpful, Roper said.

Among the events scheduled for the day is a West Virginia National Guard Parachute Team demonstration at noon, Roper said.

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