published: Sunday, October 14, 2012
Week of the Family set for Nov. 3-10
Special to the News-Sun
Highlands County commissioners recently issued a proclamation declaring Nov. 3-10 as Highlands County Week of the Family.
Impetus for the proclamation came from Bette Prine, who chairs the Highlands County Week of the Family organization. Prine started Highlands County Week of the Family in 2010, after seeing it successfully implemented in other Florida counties.
"Our goal is to offer a week of family-centered, uplifting activities that encourages families to spend more time together. We believe strong families build strong communities," Prine said.
As in previous years, Week of the Family will provide suggestions for activities that families can do together. These can be as simple as going for a walk together, looking through family albums, or helping an elderly neighbor, or they can involve participating in community events and activities.
On Nov. 3, families are encouraged to attend the 27th Annual Civilian Conservation Corps Festival at Highlands Hammock State Park and the Highlands Art League Fine Arts and Crafts Festival. Both events are free, with the exception of the Highlands Hammock Park admission fee, which is $6 per vehicle.
On Nov. 4, families can enjoy free admission to the YMCA Fitness Center. On Nov. 6, the Heartland Library Cooperative will offer a free movie night at the Avon Park, Lake Placid and Sebring libraries, and on Nov. 9, the Children's Museum will provide free admission from 5-8 p.m.
Also on Nov. 9, some restaurants in the area will offer discounts to families. Week of the Family will make available a list of participating restaurants.
Highlands County Week of the Family also will host two events of its own.
"This year, we are honored to have Liz Edmunds, popular host of the TV show, "The Food Nanny," and author of the book, "The Food Nanny Rescues Dinner," at the event. She is all about getting the family back to the dinner table. Her book includes family recipes and also vignettes about making dinner a family event," Prine said.
Edmunds will give presentations at South Florida State College at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 8. There is no charge to attend. Copies of her book will be on sale, and she will be available to sign them.
Week of the Family is also organizing its own Celebration of the Family, a special event that will take place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 10 at the Bert J. Harris Jr. Agricultural Center at U.S. 27 South and George Boulevard.
"This very popular event has been held each year, and drew close to 400 participants and more than 30 vendors last year," Prine said.
The opening ceremony will be a Commemoration of Sebring's Centennial. It will begin with a demonstration by the award-winning Avon Park High School Junior ROTC Color Guard followed by a welcome from Sebring Mayor George Hensley. The Highlands Ridge Chorale will sing two musical renditions, commemorating the Centennial. Hensley wrote the lyrics for one of the songs.
Live entertainment will follow with performances by the Mountain Dew Cloggers, music/song by Tony Suazo, Val Henry's Martial Arts of America, and Kid's Magic by Nelson. This year, a Game Lane, designed to attract more teenagers to the event, will be added.
The Palms of Sebring will cater a free lunch, prepared by Chef Mac.
There will also be door prizes, contests and awards. The Art League will sponsor a Children's Art Contest, for children up to 6 years of age. Week of the Family will sponsor an essay contest for fourth-graders; the topic will be Thanksgiving with My Family.
Last but not least, families that submit a written record of all the activities they did together during the week of Nov. 3 to be considered for a special award.
Vendor and exhibitor booths will be located inside and outside the building. Each vendor and exhibitor is being asked to provide educational, hands-on activities or a door prize. No selling will be permitted
Week of the Family welcomes contributions from all organizations, businesses and individuals who want to help make the event a success. Ways to contribute include making a monetary or an in kind gift; setting up a booth; volunteering to help with planning, organizing, and staffing Celebration of the Family; donating door prizes and offering free or discounted services.
Visit the website at www.highlandscountyweekofthefamily.org to find out more about Week of the Family. Contact Bette Prine, Week of the Family chairperson, at 386-1791 or e-mail her at email@example.com.
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