FSN to provide gift to the community

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By Kirsten Laskey

The community is receiving a gift Saturday. This present is for all ages and costs just a buck. All that is required is for people to show up.

The gift, the Family Fun Festival, is hosted by the Family Strengths Network and will be held from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday at Fuller Lodge.  The admission fee is $1 for persons age 3 and older.

“We have our favorites like ice cream in a bag … of course live birds with the Santa Fe Raptors, snakes to look at and pet (from) Jen Macek, of course Dance Arts Los Alamos is going to be there and Music Together and the Los Alamos Historical Society and Pajarito Environmental Education Center,” said FSN executive director Susan Mack. “Everybody’s got hands-on activities.”

Participants will also be treated to face painting and balloons.

This is not a fundraiser, Mack said, it is a gift to the community. Besides FSN, sponsors include Los Alamos MainStreet and Los Alamos National Bank.

Volunteers also pitch in for the event including  from Key Club, Honors Society and Natural Helpers.

“Thank goodness for our volunteers,” Mack said. She added, the event wouldn’t happen without them.

The Family Fun Festival “has been a tradition for many, many years and it’s a fun event that highlights businesses and organizations that are local treasures,” Mack said.

Mack said organizations including the historical society and PEEC offer so much to the community, but may not be well known to residents. While the event educates about what is available to people, “the primary objective of this event is to have fun,” Mack said. “The neat thing about the Family Festival is it introduces people to an organization that can provide family fun year round.”

This message seems to be catching on. For the last three years, attendance has increased. In 2006, participants totaled 475, and then in 2007, the number rose  to 575 and then 675 people attend last year’s festival.

“It’s a good event,” Mack said. “As more people learn about it … more people attend.”

FSN offers parenting classes and programs for teens. New activities include an international potluck called World’s Fare. The dining experience is offered from 11:30-1 p.m. the fourth Thursday of every month.

Also, FSN will host a workshop on effective parenting after a divorce. The free workshop will be from 6:30-8 p.m. March 26. Another workshop is the Tween to Teens workshop for girls age 9-13, their moms or female adults. The workshop will be from 5:30-8 p.m. April 23. The workshop fee is $35. Call 662-4515 for more information.

A symposium, “What Were You Thinking?” will focus on the teenage brain and start at 8 a.m. April 11 at the University of New Mexico-Los Alamos. FSN is partnering with the Juvenile Justice Adivosry Board and UNM-LA to present the program.