Healthy Families Festival great success

Published 12:44 pm Saturday, August 22, 2015

From school supplies giveaways to talks about gun safety and information about health issues, there was something for everyone Saturday at the Robert E. “Bob” Bowers Civic Center.

There, the building was filled with Port Arthur Independent School District children and their parents during the third annual Healthy Family Festival.

Sponsored by the Gulf Coast Center with the aid Port Arthur area business community, the event featured health education booths, food, games, door prizes, entertainment and information about the Center and its business partners.

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“We are so happy with this turnout for such a great event,” Dr. Marshal E. Thigpen, Gulf Coast Center executive director, said. “The turnout looks bigger than previous years.”

Different businesses donated door prizes, including four televisions made available by Walmart.

“The fact that so many businesses are willing to give back to the community is so encouraging to us,” Thigpen said.

Tan Luu and his wife Thuy brought their four young children to the festival Saturday for the first time.

“I think it is awesome. The kids have a chance to pickup all kinds of goodies. It’s a good family activity,” Tan Luu said.

The center was filled with vendor and informational booths, including representatives from the Civil Air Patrol, where First Lt. Tommy G Cruse Sr., fielded questions from those not familiar with the U.S. Air Force Auxiliary.

Cruse said the organization has been in existence since Dec. 1, 1942 — seven days before Pearl Harbor was attacked — today not that many people know about the group.

“Nobody knows about it, so that’s why we came here,’ he said.

Port Arthur Police Officer Calvin Walker cautioned children about gun safety.

“When you see a gun say “stop,” don’t touch it, leave the area, call the police, tell your mom or dad, grandmother or grandfather, some adult,” Walker told the audience of children.

Kristi Olivier, 30, of Port Arthur brought her three children ages 12,10 and 6, to the Healthy Family Festival for the first time.

“This is a blessed things,” she said. “We’ve got school supplies, good information about cancer, non smoking, diabetes, and insurance, so it’s just been a good thing for us and for the community.”


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