Oh, to be a kid again! Hundreds of smiling faces packed the Boys & Girls Club of Portage on Saturday to celebrate the Spring holiday with NorthShore Health Centers. It was the second annual Easter Eggstravaganza hosted by NorthShore, and there was an abundance of entertainment for families to enjoy. Kids were treated to candy, games, bouncy castles and prizes, along with face painting, a balloon artist, and the chance for them to meet some of their heroes.
“This year we had Spiderman, Batman, the Easter Bunny, Rusty the Railcat, as well as Disney’s Elsa here talking with the kids and taking pictures,” said Maysha Carlon, a coordinator of the event from NorthShore, who, like the rest of the NorthShore team, was dressed festively in her pink bunny ears.
“They just had a blast,” she continued, “and every child who came walked away with a prize. Whether it was an Easter basket, a gift certificate or Railcats tickets, nobody walked away empty handed.” One lucky child, who found the golden egg during their Easter egg hunt, was the winner of a brand new bike.
Boys & Girls Club Unit Director, Steve Letic, was there to make sure things ran smoothly and to assure the event was a success. “We’ve partnered with NorthShore in the past and we have the space to put an event like this on so we were more than happy to help,” he said. “What better way is there to celebrate Easter and give these families a chance to connect with these community resources, all in one spot. There’s a need for these organizations in the region and we were just so excited to be involved.”
While the kids scrambled from one station to the next, parents connected with the fifteen to twenty community vendors and resource representatives on hand to let these families know what kind of services they offer and that they are here to help.
Gervay Dickerson, from NorthShore Health Centers, said, “We really wanted to bring different elements from the community that these families might not know are out there otherwise. We get tremendous donations from local businesses which help us make these events so successful. It’s so true that one hand washes the other, and we’re very lucky to have the help and support of such a great community.”
The booths NorthShore had set up included one which parents could make appointments at, another that had a hygienist attending, and a third where kids could receive a dental check there on site. Among the other booths were: Geminus/Head Start, Housing Opportunities, The Tot Shop, and Northwest Indiana First Steps. All these resource representatives were related to wellness and keeping Northwest Indiana families healthy. The work and outreach NorthShore Health Centers do assures that the community will continue to be made healthier by their presence.