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Patton Township Children’s Safety Fair lets kids interact with police officers and more

Hudson Manning checks out the buttons in the cockpit of the Geisinger Life Flight helicopter during the 2017 Patton Township Children’s Fair.
Hudson Manning checks out the buttons in the cockpit of the Geisinger Life Flight helicopter during the 2017 Patton Township Children’s Fair. Centre Daily Times, file

The Patton Township Children’s Safety Fair is a fun filled, free event that allows children in our community to interact with our police officers, firefighters and EMS personnel and develop positive relationships with them. The Patton Township Police Department and the Patton Township Business Association have been co-sponsors for the past 18 years. Our goal is to offer activities that promote safety and develop trust with first responders in a non-emergency setting.

Police departments from Bellefonte, Ferguson Township, Patton Township, Penn State and Spring Township will allow the kids to sit in their police cars, interact with the technology and better understand a police officer’s job. Parents can have their kids fingerprinted and their child safety seats inspected. The kids will also be able to ride in the bucket of the Alpha Fire Company’s aerial ladder firetruck and wear “kid size” firefighter equipment from the Boalsburg Fire Company to extinguish an imaginary fire with a real firehose and water. Centre Region Code will offer “burn trailer” demonstrations throughout the day. Kids will also be permitted to climb into the STAT MedEvac air ambulance helicopter pilot’s seat and lie on the gurney in the cargo area as if they are being flown to a hospital. Centre County Sheriff Bryan Sampsel and Centre LifeLink will have equipment for the kids to explore.

Victoria Stauffer, 17, made 250 ball-in-a-cup games to sell at the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts Children and Youth Day. She was almost out of stock halfway through the day. Stauffer was one of many artists between 8 and 18 lined along

Over two dozen members of the Patton Township Business Association are contributing. Happy Valley Hotels is sponsoring a large climbing wall and Pediatric Dental Care is sponsoring a huge inflatable obstacle course. State College Access Church, HFL Hotels and Bobby Rahal Honda are sponsoring three different bounce houses for kids. Home Depot will sponsor their Kid’s Workshop and Lowe’s will offer fun activities for kids. Best Buy’s Geek Squad will have computers set up to teach parents how to protect their kids from unsavory websites and the State College Elks will teach kids how to avoid recreational drugs. MedExpress will help the kids build their own first aid kit. And, the Boy Scouts will conduct a Pinewood Derby.

The kids can play on Glenn O. Hawbaker’s backhoe and dump truck, have their face painted by Harmony of State College, make crafts with Country Inn & Suites and play games to win prizes with 5 Star Nutrition, Centre Care, Chick-fil-A, Cracker Barrel, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Home Nursing Agency, Jersey Mike’s Subs, Otto’s, Re/Max, Restore Eye Care, Texas Roadhouse, Wegmans and the Youth Service Bureau. Panko Wealth Management is also an event sponsor. QWik Rock will broadcast live throughout the day. Taproot Kitchen will sell food and drinks. You are invited to join us on May 11 from 10 a.m until 3 p.m. in the Target/Wegmans parking lot. Admission is free.

David Panko is Patton Township Business Association president.