By Tim Leeds
There will be lots of things for kids and their care givers to do at Pepin Park from noon to 2 p.m. Friday at Havre's fourth annual Stand for Children Rally.
There will be a teddy bear picnic at noon at the park, on Seventh Avenue and Fourth Street. Taco John's taco cart will be providing food for $1 per person, and Andi Everingham, Family Support Coalition coordinator, said any daycare providers or parents are welcome to bring their kids and their teddy bears to share some tacos.
After the picnic, there will be a selection of activities for the kids to play with. Everingham said the Hi-Line Therapeutic Riding Association will have some horses there for the kids to see, and to provide information about their services providing riding therapy and hippotherapy for needy children.
"They're always looking for volunteers to help them in their services," she said.
There will be many other games and activities as well, including juggling, a bean bag toss and parachute games.
The rally is associated with the national Stand for Children organization, a group building a grassroots coalition to support the needs of children in the United States. The group began in Washington on June 1, 1996, when more than 300,000 people gathered at the Lincoln Memorial to show support for children's issues, the largest gathering of people in support of children's issues in history, Stand for Children's web site says.
Everingham said the point of the rally is for the community to focus on what the needs of children in the area are, what opportunities they have and what is still needed. The rally this year will basically just be a fun-day, she said, but it follows a meeting to discuss what the needs and opportunities are. She said the Havre Area Early Childhood Future Search will be held in the Wolfers banquet room all day Thursday and Friday until the start of the rally.
Everingham said the purpose of the Futures Search is to examine what opportunities there are for children, to look at what services and opportunities are still needed and to find ways to provide them. She said the organizers of the search, HRDC, the Hill County Family Support Coalition and the Future Search Community Project, who also organized the rally, hope to create some kind of community plan of action to improve the opportunities in the area.
Marit Ita of the HRDC Child Care Link said they are also spearheading an effort to get memberships in the national Stand for Children organization started. She said they are trying to get information out about what the organization is and what it is trying to do.
Stand for Children works through memberships and local chapters to raise awareness about children's issues and to create action to improve children's environments in local communities.
For more information about the futures search, the rally or Stand for Children, call HRDC at 265-6743.
On the net: Stand for Children: http://www.stand.org