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Expo will connect families, agencies

Just like they do during Memorial Day festivities, OBP organizers will bring out the cake walk music at Saturday’s expo.

Thursday, October 28, 1999

Just like they do during Memorial Day festivities, OBP organizers will bring out the cake walk music at Saturday’s expo.

"We always have fun with that, especially the kids and I do too, except they don’t let me keep the cake," said OBP president Robert Pleasant Jr.

The cake walk is not the only activity on the expo’s 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. agenda.

Painting pumpkins, playing games, listening to speakers and winning door prizes are just a few of the activities that are planned for the children, said Belinda Brown, expo coordinator.

Prizes for the day include gift certificates and movie tickets. Hot dogs, homemade sauce, chips, popcorn and baked goods will be sold all day.

Aimed at city and county youth in kindergarten through 12th grade, the expo will be held at the Riverhills Community Center and will include booths set up by OBP, Americorps, Ohio University Southern Campus, JTPA, area high schools, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Big Brothers Big Sisters and others, Ms. Brown said.

And the expo also coincides with National Red Ribbon Week, so both events mark a way for adults to show youths how to set a healthy lifestyle as a priority, she said.

"We want to promote a positive lifestyle, to give them something to do and it’s going to be lots of fun besides."

The first-ever event promises to be not only a good way to send good messages to youths, but also a way to help the area’s volunteer agencies, Pleasant said.

"We’re trying to get the community involved and other youth-oriented organizations involved to try to spread the word on what’s available to our young people," Pleasant said.

Ms. Brown agreed, adding that putting youths in contact with groups like Big Brothers Big Sisters can help an entire community improve.

"There might be someone there that hears these messages and they might need a big brother or big sister," she said.

A poster contest, pumpkin contest, a pinata and many games promise to put fun into the education, Pleasant added.

The theme of the poster contest is "Youth vs. Drugs: We Declare War." Posters must be turned in at the center by 10 a.m. Saturday.

"We’re really looking to have a good time and we hope people come out and support us, and we hope it grows."

Also at the expo, speakers from WSAZ-TV, the Wayne National Forest, area police stations and Briggs-Lawrence County Public Library will discuss domestic violence, drug abuse and dealing with sexuality for teens.

The Riverhills Community Center is located at Ninth and Madison streets.