Childen’s Trust Famiy Expo free at fairgrounds on May 8

The Children’s Trust 2010 Family Expo, sponsored by Target, will host its fourth annual free all-day festival to provide parents with direct access to educational, health and social services in a fun and festive atmosphere, on Saturday, May 8, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., at the Miami-Dade County Fair and Expo Center, 10901 Coral Way. Already the largest free event of its kind in the community, with record crowds of more than 25,000 in prior years, the Children’s Trust is accommodating the growing attendance by utilizing both on-site exhibit halls once again. The event features workshops and more than 250 exhibitors showcasing information about summer and after-school programs, injury prevention, vaccinations, programs for children with special needs, pre-kindergarten registration, KidCare and much more. Each hall will have stages packed with entertainment; face painting; balloon sculpture; magicians, and character greeting for children to meet Nickelodeon’s Fairly Odd Parents, the Backyardigans and many popular Disney look-a-like characters from Toy Story, The Lion King and others, including some classic storybook characters. A special reading corner will feature storytelling and free books to take home.

The Miami Children’s Museum will operate an elaborate arts and crafts area and the Florida Marlins tent features T-ball and speed pitching practice. The Children’s Trust will give away free gifts to the first 3,000 children.

Admission, parking, all activities and entertainment are free. Food will be sold by vendors of the Miami-Dade County Fair and Exposition Center.

“In these difficult economic times, with so many families in need, an event like this becomes even more important to connect families to valuable services and especially in a fun and entertaining atmosphere that provides families with an opportunity to share quality time together at little or no cost to them,” said Modesto E. Abety, president and CEO of the Children’s Trust. “At a time when most corporate sponsorship is diminishing, we are fortunate to have significant, continued support from Target to allow us to continue the expansion of this event.”

The sponsorship grant is part of an ongoing effort by Target to strengthen families and communities throughout the country. Since opening its doors, Target has given 5 percent of its income to organizations that support education, the arts, social services and volunteerism. Today that equals more than $3 million every week.

“At Target, our local grants are making a difference in the communities we serve,” said Laysha Ward, president, community relations for Target. “We’re proud to partner with the Children’s Trust as part of our ongoing commitment to give back to the communities where our guests and team members live and work.”

For more information about the Children’s Trust Family Expo, call 2-1-1 The Children’s Trust Helpline or visit online at <>.

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