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Families have fun, eat and learn at YMCA event

Dominick Little, 6, of Butler Township, decides what to pick at a table set up at Healthy Kids Day Saturday at the Butler YMCA. Paula Grubbs/Butler Eagle

Big smiles were plastered on the faces of kids, parents, police officers, firefighters, organization representatives and everyone else who attended Healthy Kids Day Saturday at the Butler YMCA.

Thousands of YMCAs nationwide hold the event to celebrate health and well-being for children and their families.

Jamie Knauff, aquatics and programs director at the Butler Y, said the event has been held, rain or shine, on Washington Street between the Y and Emily Brittain Elementary School for at least 15 years.

On Saturday, April 20, 28 organizations set up tables in three rooms at the Butler Y, and all had information to share and an activity or treat for kids.

“We hope kids see the Y as an inviting place to be with their families,” Knauff said.

Children entering the Y lobby participated in the Healthy Kids Day Olympics, which saw them collect a ticket from each table they visited.

Twins Isla, left, and Aesa Tutko, of Center Township, prepare to toss beanbags onto a target to win a prize Saturday at Healthy Kids Day at the Butler YMCA. Paula Grubbs/Butler Eagle

The tickets were then used as chances for various raffles, including kid-oriented gift baskets containing gift cards for venues aimed at youth, or one of 10 bike helmets donated by the Butler Bureau of Fire.

Two tables had make-your-own snacks, and older students from Mandi’s Dance Studio demonstrated steps in the various types of dance taught there.

“We decided to come out today because we want to see what the Y has to offer us and everyone else,” said Sarah Dominick, of Butler Township, who brought her son, Dominick Little, 6.

Dr. Christiana Morganti, a pediatrician with Independence Health System, stood at the health system booth, where kids picked a lollipop with the chance to win a prize.

Kids at the Independence table also got to choose a Batman, cat or owl mask to color.

“It brings awareness to health,” Morganti said of the event. “We do try to do our best with well care, which keeps you from getting chronic illnesses.”

Jason Adams, of Cranberry Township, brought his twin 5-year-old daughters, Isla and Aesa Tutko, to Healthy Kids Day.

“They are really liking it,” he said.

Adams said he attends many events held throughout the county.

“I think it says a lot about Butler County,” he said of the year-round availability of events. “There’s always something to do.”

Julianna and Liam Ion, age 10 and 4, respectively, got to ride in the bucket of a firetruck with a firefighter from Butler Bureau of Fire on Saturday at Healthy Kids Day at the Butler YMCA. Paula Grubbs/Butler Eagle

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