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Event focuses on kids' health

April 14, 2003|by BONNIE HELLUM BRECHBILL

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - One booth elicited a great many comments of "Oh, gross!" from children at the Healthy Kids Day event Saturday at the Waynesboro YMCA, and the person manning the booth couldn't be happier.

Displayed on the table of the Franklin County Tobacco Prevention Program was a very realistic model of black, spongy lungs complete with tumor, and Mr. Gross Mouth, a life-size model that shows the effects of chewing tobacco and snuff on teeth and gums.

"The kids think it's gross," said Sam Wider with a smile.

The Shippensburg, Pa., residen, who works for the prevention program, said children who have a parent who smokes will often grab literature off his table and give it to the parent saying, "Look, Mommy!"

"That can be effective," Wiser said. "Several parents stopped by today and said their kids made them quit."

Tanja Koons, the YMCA's Child Care Program Director, said approximately 120 people attended the three-hour event.

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About 30 organizations manned tables at the fair, which is in its fifth year, Koons said. The purpose is to promote children's health.

At the Pampered Chef booth, several children sat a low table and decorated cookies. Kristina Dawson, 5, of Waynesboro, said she made her cookie out of "hearts, red peppers and half an apple," pointing to the cookie cutters she used.

Kristina attended the fair with her mother, Laura Dawson, who received a seated massage at the adjacent Synergy Healing Arts Center and Massage School booth while Kristina worked on her cookie.

Melissa Russ of Waynesboro, representing Pampered Chef, and Melody Gober, preschool teacher at the YMCA, guided the children in painting the raw cookies with a mixture of egg yolk and food dye, and then baking them.

Alternate Franklin County Dairy Princess Laura Grove presented a demonstration of how much calcium is in the body of people of varying ages. The daughter of Jeff and Linda Grove of Shippensburg, Laura encouraged children to get calcium from dairy products.

One of the most popular attractions, judging from the number of children lined up, was Wayzee the Clown, who deftly created animals, hats and flowers out of long, thin balloons. Also known as Roy Nestor of Waynesboro, Wayzee has been twisting balloons for at least 30 years. His wife of 54 years, Doris Nestor, assisted him.

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