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Volunteers sought for event

Volunteers are needed to assist with a Step Up, Speak Out event scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 9, at the Boys and Girls Club in Van Buren.

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

Faldon said volunteers are needed for the check-in table, trash pickup and to set up and break down the event.

The Van Buren Step Up Speak, 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.

For kids, the rally will have games and activities, educational arts and crafts booths, and informative literature geared toward children. There will be free hot dogs, musical entertainment and give aways. Children will receive free T-shirts, coloring books and bracelets.

Adults can attend informative educational sessions that will teach them how to better protect children from abuse.

Citizens Bank & Trust will grill hot dogs donated by Arkansas Food Bank. GFWC Women’s League of Van Buren and United Way of Fort Smith Area will each donate two bicycles. The four bikes and a Kindle Fire donated by Heritage United Methodist Church will be given away as door prizes.

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

Detective Donald Eversole of the Van Buren Police Department will conduct an Internet safety class for adults. The Van Buren Fire Department will bring a fire truck to the event.

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

Faldon said civic clubs, businesses and other organizations are being recruited to set up booths and hand out informational brochures on child abuse awareness.

The River Valley’s first Step Up, Speak Out event was organized two years ago by Jackie Hamilton of the Hamilton House and Sam T. Sicard of First National Bank and was held at University of Arkansas - Fort Smith.

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