GREENVILLE — Greenville City Park looked like a carnival Monday, with games, prizes, clowns, face – painting, kickball, corn hole music and food during “Funday Monday”.
The Darke County Board of Developmental Disabilities (Darke DD) and the Greenville Kiwanis Aktion Club partnered with 13 local organizations, agencies and providers to host a day of fun, food and games for at-risk youth in Darke County. According to Superintendent of Darke County DD Michael Beasecker the celebration is one of several upcoming events to mark the state’s 50 years of county boards of developmental disabilities.
“We are finding ways we can give back to the community to say thanks for supporting boards of developmental disabilities,” Beasecker said. “We thought one way is by showing our support for at – risk youth in our community and organizing a fun day, and allowing other agencies to come out and support them. We know there are many challenges out there right now for youth, as they transition to adult life. We just want to support, encourage and get to know them.”
Some of those supporters were “We Are the Majority” members Aleiha Fenton and Lexi Slade, both of Greenville. They said they were there to have fun and to help out the kids.
“Kids learn how to have fun without drugs or alcohol,” Slade said. “Everyone can see that everyone has smiles on their faces.”
Greenville High School Senior Will Coomer was there to help. He was operating a couple carnival games and dancing.
“I volunteer because I like to be present and help in the community,” he said.
The Darke County Sheriff’s Office and Greenville Police were also there to interact with the youth. According to Darke County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Mark Whittaker, the purpose of the School Resource Officers and deputies attending the event was to educate and interact with the public that they serve.
“We want to have a positive interaction and be approachable by all citizens,” he said. “Events like the Funday are a great opportunity for these interactions, and the deputies enjoy participating in them.”
According to Beasecker it is great for people to see, interact and become comfortable with law enforcement.
“We have law enforcement that come in and do trainings with the community of situations that might arise,” he said. “That is an awesome partnership.”
In addition, Beasecker said Darke DD has other more social type of agencies in the community that support one – another.
“Within our structure, we have adult day programs that are agencies support through some Medicaid funding, and they are represented here today to begin building relationships between adults and some of the youth that we serve, to bring one big community together,” he said. “It is awesome to see all of that going on. It is a big deal to celebrate 50 years of existence of when we actually started. There are more events to come.”