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Step Up, Speak Out set Wednesday

Wednesday’s Step Up, Speak Out block party at the Boys and Girls Club of Van Buren will have events for both children and adults.

Step Up, Speak Out to increase awareness of child abuse is scheduled for 5 to 7 p.m. on the club parking lot in the Dr. Louis Peer Memorial City Park, according to Cindy Faldon, boys and girls club director.

The Van Buren Step Up, Speak Out block party is being held in conjunction with similar events at Spradling and Tilles Elementary schools, Evans Boys and Girls Club and Girls Inc. in Fort Smith, Boys and Girls Club in Greenwood and the Lavaca Public School softball field.

Booths offering games and informative material will be set up by the boys and girls club, Kiwanis Club, BACA, Mary Kay Cosmetics, Optimist Club, CASA of Crawford County and GFWC Women’s League of Van Buren.

There will be face painting and a football toss.

Children also will receive free T-shirts, coloring books and bracelets.

Citizens Bank & Trust will grill 1,000 hot dogs donated by Arkansas Food Bank. Arvest Bank will provide suckers and balloons for the kids.

Lee Prince, a rapper and hip hop artist, and 357, a band which plays older rock ‘n roll, also will perform.

To be given away as door prizes will be a Kindle Fire donated by Heritage United Methodist Church, two bicycles and a skateboard from Fort Smith Area United Way and two bikes from GFWC Women’s League of Van Buren.

First Baptist Church of Van Buren will provide tents for the events.

On display will be vehicles from the Van Buren Fire Department, Van Buren Police Department and Crawford County Sheriff’s Department.

Detective Donald Eversole of the Van Buren Police Department will conduct an Internet safety class for adults at 5:45 p.m. Literature also will be available on how to teach parents to better protect children from abuse.

Crawford County Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Robert Presley will emcee the event.

The boys and girls club will run a shuttle van from Central Elementary School parking lot to the club from 4 to 5 p.m. and again at 7 p.m.

In the case of inclement weather the event will be moved indoors at the boys and girls club.

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