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Plant City Observer Thursday, Aug. 2, 2018 1 month ago

Rotary day of fun returns

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Plant City’s Noon Rotary Club is once again throwing its annual Community Appreciation Fun Day, which aims to connect the community with its first responders.
by: Breanne Williams Staff Writer

Though summer is coming to a close Plant City’s Noon Rotary Club wants the community to know the fun is far from over.

Its third annual Community Appreciation Fun Day is from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 4 at the Randy L. Larson Softball

Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office invited the community to tour its Incident Command Center Truck.

Complex, 1500 S Park Road. Each year, the event draws hundreds of families to the fields as they interact with local first responders and learn about all the services they provide. Approximately 50 people volunteer time and resources each year and Stevens said the Rotary is looking forward to continuing to offer the day of fun for years to come.

“Three years ago a group of us sat around a table and we wanted to show the community that the men and women in blue are on our side and that we support them,” Jodi Stevens, president of the Rotary Club, said. “We wanted to create an event that would help facilitate that conversation. Each year it has just continued to grow.”

Master Pilot Frank Stott and School Resource Deputy Tobias Smith taught children about the HCSO's helicopter.

Several hundred attendees flocked to the event its first year and now the Rotary is expecting between 700 and 800 guests. The event is completely free and the first 500 children to attend will receive a free book bag filled with school supplies.

The Plant City Fire Department, Plant City Police Department and Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office will all be onsite showing off their special units, gadgets and vehicles. HSCO will fly in and land a helicopter. Fire Rescue has several of its firefighters in full gear as they demonstrate the “Jaws of Life” rescue operation on an old car. Children can tour command center trucks, see how a SWAT team performs its job, check out tanks, mounted patrol and K-9 units.

“Just to see little kids’ eyes get so big as they watch something like the Jaws of Life demonstration or when they get to wear a police badge and speak to these everyday heroes, that makes this all worth it,” Stevens said. “They look at the demonstrations and think, ‘Wow, they do this?’ or ‘Wow, I never thought about that.’ It really is an educational and fun day.”

There will be a rock climbing wall, bounce houses, a dunk tank and games. There will also be free food and drinks available.

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