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Annual Kids Expo offers fun services to families

Money raised during event at Golden Valley High School to benefit community’s Child & Family Center

Posted: October 14, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: October 14, 2013 2:00 a.m.

Tanya Mannion of the Canyon Theatre Guild paints the face of Riya Mistry of Chatsworth during Child & Family Center's 10th annual Kid Expo held at Golden Valley High School in Canyon Country on Sunday. Last year's event drew an estimated 7,000 people. Photo by John Lazar.

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If there was any doubt the Santa Clarita Valley was a family community, then a trip to Sunday’s Kid Expo at Golden Valley High School would convince them.

Thousands of parents and their kids sampled the wares and services offered by more than 100 companies showcasing products and services geared for kids and families.

Money raised at the event benefits the Child &Family Center which provides mental health services to children and families in our community.

Center worker Kim Grass sported a sparkling gold-colored star-shaped headpiece to draw kids to the center’s booth where kids were given pins blinking with light.

“The star is working,” she said with a smile, adjusting her headpiece. “The kids love to light up with these pins.”
One of those who lined up for a flashing star pin was Sophie-Marie Demeter, whose parents ran a booth of their own at the show.

Janet and Barry Demeter ran the Art For Jack booth.

The couple lost their son Jack last year to a brain tumor attributed to a condition called, diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma. They started a program in his honor to raise awareness for the condition that claimed their son.

During his last week of school in Agua Dulce, Jack began to fall and need help getting off the school bus, they said.

“He had a slight limp, then slurred speech and then walking as if he had a stroke,” said his father.

Jack Demeter underwent six weeks of radiotherapy but died a month before his fourth birthday.

On Sunday, visitors to the Art For Jack booth learned how the boy’s teachers and classmates created art in his honor and were invited to purchase that art.

“This is a way to get the word out there,” Barry Demeter said.

Last year more than 7,000 people enjoyed arts & crafts offered at the Kid Expo. This year’s event showed no sign of diminishing.

Attendees took part in games, jostled with mascots, watched karate and dance demonstrations and were invited to kick tae kwon do instructors who, in turn, taught them how to kick more effectively.

Tae kwon do instructor, Grand Master T.K. Park, who was at the fair promoting his Canyon Country martial arts studio, said he teaches kids discipline and respect, while instilling confidence.

A couple of steps from his booth was another martial art promoting the same qualities.

Tony Greene of the Ekata Training Center had children pump up balloons - an activity that had them continually lined up in front of his kiosk.

“It’s been crazy,” Greene said as another balloon popped.

“But, I’ve got good helpers with me,” he said, pointing to the kids helping out in his booth.
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