Health, Safety Fair Re­turns To Com­mu­nity Cen­ter Park

Riverbank News - - FRONT PAGE - BY RIC McGIN­NIS News Cor­re­spon­dent

A warm, sunny af­ter­noon greeted par­tic­i­pants as the an­nual Bi­cy­cle Rodeo and Health and Safety Fair re­turned to Com­mu­nity Cen­ter Park this past week.

Al­though not part of Farm­ers Mar­ket in River­bank this year, the youth-ori­ented event was suc­cess­ful, none­the­less.

In ad­di­tion to River­bank Po­lice Ser­vices and Stanis­laus Con­sol­i­dated Fire Dis­trict per­son­nel, spon­sors wanted to rec­og­nize the many other com­mu­nity busi­nesses and or­ga­ni­za­tions which helped make it such an achievement.

Co-spon­sors were the City of River­bank Parks and Re­cre­ation De­part­ment and Cen­tral Val­ley Com­mu­nity Re­sources.

CVCR di­rec­tor and coun­cil mem­ber Dar­lene Bar­ber-Martinez listed the par­tic­i­pants. In ad­di­tion to Po­lice Ser­vices and Con­sol­i­dated Fire of­fi­cers, there were paramedics from Oak Val­ley Am­bu­lance, Royal Neigh­bors, Tar­get of River­bank, SaveMart of River­bank, the Ma­sonic Lodge in Ceres, and the new Farm­ers In­sur­ance of­fice that is open­ing soon.

Oth­ers in­cluded the River­bank Branch of the Stanis­laus County Li-

brary, the Oak­dale Shel­ter Pet Al­liance and City of Oak­dale (and River­bank) An­i­mal Shel­ter, Casa Del Rio, Royal Neigh­bors, the River­bank Fed­er­ated Women’s Club, and the Guild Mort­gage.

Ac­tiv­i­ties hosted by the re­cre­ation de­part­ment in­cluded their ver­sion of Sip ‘n Paint, a fam­ily-friendly, noal­co­hol ver­sion of the learn to paint event, this time fea­tur­ing lots of cold wa­ter.

Also avail­able were the nearby as­sorted swings, slides and climb­ing struc­tures of the park, a bounce house wa­ter slide and free use of the ad­ja­cent city swimming pool.

“We had a won­der­ful time at the Com­mu­nity Cen­ter Park. Al­though it was a hot day, the shade at the park served us well. We had six food ven­dors and 12 non­profit, com­mer­cial, and craft ven­dors,” said Ju­lia Petit, Parks and Re­cre­ation Su­per­vi­sor. “I would say about 300 guests were there through­out the night.”

Po­lice Chief Erin Kiely was pleased with the fo­cus on bi­cy­cle safety for young­sters.

“I don’t have an ex­act count on the num­ber of chil­dren that went through our (bike rodeo) pro­gram but we handed out in ex­cess of 80 bike hel­mets to chil­dren and raf­fled off nine bikes,” the chief said.

At the end of the day, Kiely and other of­fi­cers drew names to give away the 10 bi­cy­cles that had been do­nated for the event. In ad­di­tion to bikes pur­chased by left­over funds in the de­part­ment’s Shop With A Cop event last Christ­mas, F&M Bank and other groups and in­di­vid­u­als pro­vided a few of the two-wheeled ve­hi­cles.

“I en­joyed see­ing ev­ery­one hav­ing a good time in the park and be­ing en­gaged in the dif­fer­ent ac­tiv­i­ties. Even more, I en­joyed see­ing the kids’ faces light up when they re­al­ized they had just won a brand new bike,” Kiely added. “River­bank Po­lice Ser­vices was truly grate­ful to see this much com­mu­nity par­tic­i­pa­tion in the event, es­pe­cially on such a warm week­day evening.”

The fi­nal el­e­ment of the evening didn’t be­gin un­til the bike draw­ings were over and ev­ery­one be­gan head­ing home, about 8 p.m. A band took the ‘stage’ in the shade out­side the Com­mu­nity Cen­ter Build­ing, per­haps hav­ing avoided the ear­lier heat.

Fam­ily Fun Night ac­tiv­i­ties con­tinue, spon­sored by the City of River­bank, both tonight, Wed­nes­day, July 18 and next Wed­nes­day, July 25, from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Com­mu­nity Cen­ter Park.

RIC MCGIN­NIS/THE NEWS

A young­ster par­tic­i­pat­ing in the July 11 Health and Safety Fair takes ad­van­tage of the op­por­tu­nity to ex­pe­ri­ence what rid­ing on an am­bu­lance gur­ney is like. Oak Val­ley Am­bu­lance paramedics were happy to be able to show off their equip­ment without hav­ing to pro­vide aid for ac­tual in­juries.

The River­bank Branch of the Stanis­laus County Li­brary pro­vided free crafts ac­tiv­i­ties as part of its par­tic­i­pa­tion in the Health and Safety Fair. Books were also dis­trib­uted at the event, held each year at Com­mu­nity Cen­ter Park.

NEWS PHO­TOS BY RIC MCGIN­NIS

A group of lo­cal young­sters look over the bikes to be given away at the end of the Health and Safety Fair hosted Wed­nes­day in River­bank Com­mu­nity Cen­ter Park. The bikes were do­nated by lo­cal busi­nesses and in­di­vid­u­als, as well as some that were pur­chased by Po­lice Ser­vices of­fi­cers with left over Shop With A Cop funds.

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