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‘A trade show for kids’

More than 5,000 attend Kid Expo

Posted: October 19, 2008 7:12 p.m.
Updated: December 21, 2008 5:00 a.m.

A group of kids meet Sylvester, a gopher snake showcased by the Placerita Canyon Nature Center at Sunday's Kid Expo.

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It was a tough choice for any kid deciding where to go first at the sixth annual Kid Expo in Canyon Country on Sunday. To the left, kids are cautiously reaching out to pet a long, checkered gopher snake. To the right, kids with glittery hearts painted on their cheeks are doing cartwheels on a mat.

“It’s a trade show for kids. Everything’s for them,” said Bill Cooper, member of the Child and Family Center’s foundation board. “The kids are loving this.”

An estimated 5,000 to 7,000 kids and parents perused the 120 vendors at Golden Valley High School. Vendors included kung fu instructors, music teachers, cheerleading coaches and gymnastics instructors.
Kids learned about Santa Clarita Valley wildlife at the Placerita Canyon Nature Center booth, where volunteers displayed hawk feathers and two squirming snakes.

Volunteers with the Santa Clarita Valley School Food Services shared healthy lunch recipes that kids can help their parents make.

They also educated parents “to be more aware of what’s available to them in school lunches,” said assistant director Sherri Weimer.

Six-year-old Teagan Ballard touched a swell shark and other small sea creatures inside the Aquarium on Wheels.

“The star fish was hard and the shark was really soft,” she said.

Kids also played with hula hoops, met Bugs Bunny and scaled a rock-climbing wall. 

The annual expo benefits the Santa Clarita Valley’s Child and Family Center, which serves 650 clients per week seeking help with children’s emotional and behavior problems.

The Kid Expo gives the community “an opportunity to come in contact with all of the vendors in our town that have activities for children and for families,” said Lois Bauccio, the executive director of the center’s foundation. “This is something we can do for families in our whole community.”

The event also raises money for the center, she said.

“Because the vendors and sponsors are generous with us, we are able to realize some additional funds will go to the children we take of,” she said.

The center also hosts the annual Taste of Town fundraiser, but that one’s just for the adults, Bauccio said.
The Kid Expo is for the kids, she said.

“It’s very close to our hearts because of that,” she said.


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