Earn points for baby shower

Published: Thursday, March 1, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, February 28, 2007 at 3:35 p.m.
Points accumulated in a "Passport to Positive Parenting" can open the door for parents and guardians to win $6,000 in cash prizes at the 3rd annual "World's Greatest Baby Shower."
Every parent, grandmother, or anyone responsible for raising pre-school children in Alachua County are eligible to earn passport points by attending certain activities.
And those points will translate into tickets for a drawing to be held at the "World's Greatest Baby Shower" sponsored by the Kiwanis Clubs of Gainesville in conjunction with Alachua County Public Schools. The baby shower will be held from 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m. May 12, at Lincoln Middle School, 1001 SE 12th St.
"The idea is to encourage active participation and parenting skills," said Liz Stewart, a Kiwanis Club member who is organizing the event. Although the baby shower is nearly 10 weeks away, she said it is critical to get a passport now and start accumulating points toward tickets for a chance at winning 60 $100 gift certificates.
"They have nearly eight weeks to accumulate points because the passports have to be turned in by April 28 to be tabulated and entered in the drawing," said Stewart, adding that when a passport is full, a new passport can be issued, thereby increasing the number of tickets for the drawing.
Passports are available at various sites, including the Library Headquarters in downtown Gainesville, the Alachua County Health Department at 224 SE 24th St., Partnership for Strong Families at 401 N. Main St., Loften High School at 3000 E. University Ave. and the Fearnside Center at 3600 NE 15th St.
Points are earned by attending activities that contribute to the education of a child or a parent or to the healthy, stable, safe and nurturing home environment for the family. Eligible activities include attendance at parenting classes and support groups, visits to the doctor, parent/child activities and education classes.
"Any activity indicative of good parenting is eligible, such as taking a child to the library and checking out books,'' said Stewart. ''It can also be pre-natal doctor visits or counseling about breast feeding. A parent attending school will get points for each hour they are in school. They also get points for taking the GED."
It is not necessary to fill out a passport in order to attend the baby shower and receive goody bags containing $100 worth of items, including toys, children's books and coupons. However, it is necessary to fill out a passport to participate in the drawings for the cash prizes.
"You have to be present to win in the drawing,'' said Stewart. ''Last year, a mother lost $1,100 because she was not there when her name was called."
Those attending the baby shower will be provided a free lunch and there will be vendors present who will be giving out free items. There also will be 12 45-minute information sessions ranging from breast feeding to child safety. And those who attend the sessions will get a chance to win at least two door prizes.
John Spindler, the event's exhibit chairman and a Kiwanis member, said this year, at least 25 vendors from public agencies and support organizations will participate.
"This is our biggest project,'' Spindler said. ''Our emphasis is on children and what better way to address this issue than to help parents have healthy babies."
Kiwanis member Don Athearn said last year's event was very successful, and this year promises to be even better. "It keeps growing,'' he said. ''I foresee continuing this program as long it takes," he said.
To register a passport for the prize program, call (352) 372-0706, or e-mail kiwanisprizes@yahoo.com. For more information, call the sites where passports are available.

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