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Partnership plans Vale ‘Spooktacular’ event

AMANDA SEBASTIANO
Staff Writer

In hopes of drawing awareness to the importance of the first 2,000 days of a child’s life, while getting area residents in the Halloween spirit, the Partnership for Children of Lincoln and Gaston counties will host its fourth Family Spooktacular this weekend.
Last year, about 2,000 patrons attended the free Vale event — a crowd the group hopes to match or surpass this year.
Various booths will have activities for children, while parents will have the opportunity to learn more about projects geared toward promoting quality child care and education for children birth to five years old.
A bounce house, fitness trail, a fire truck and a police vehicle, and games are among the attractions for attendees to view and experience on Saturday.
Patrons will also receive a complimentary hotdog lunch at what Executive Director of the local Partnership branch Michael Linker calls a true collaborative community event where information is shared that will benefit children and families.
A petting zoo was taken off the event’s attraction list, after the recent E. Coli outbreak in Lincoln and neighboring counties due to issue with a petting exhibit at the Cleveland County fair.
The Partnership for Children organization works to ensure that area children ages 5 and under have access to safe and healthy environments, and affordable healthcare. The group also offers classes for parents and connects those interested with resources to get them the help they need, “to strengthen them in their roles as their children’s primary caregiver.”
Through funding from Smart Start — a public/private group created in 1993 that gives dollars to Partnerships in 100 N.C. counties — the group continues to work to prepare children to start school.
The Family Spooktacular will be held from noon to 4 p.m., Saturday, at the WoodMill Festival Grounds, 1350 WoodMill Winery Lane in Vale.

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