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Annual baby fair continues to grow

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RONAN — More than 500 parents and children came out to the seventh annual Baby Fair at the Ronan Event Center Nov. 12. Those who attended were able to visit 37 vendors, have their child screened for speech and pick up free books and information for parenting. According to childcare coordinator Doris Gainan, all services were free.

Businesses from Polson to Arlee helped with donating various items to give away, and Kerr Radio provided two weeks of free advertising for the event. Vendors donated various door prizes that were handed out during the three-hour fair.

Gainan said the annual event is important for children and parents to attend, because if parents have concerns about their child being delayed in a certain area, the Baby Fair is a step in the right direction to get them the help they need.

Also free were immunizations, including flu shots.

“We teach them about healthy foods,” Gainan said. “We also had a dentist do a quick sweep through the child’s mouth and (hand) out free toothbrushes for the kids.”

Apples with peanut butter were also offered as a healthy snack option to teach children about serving sizes for children and adults. In an attempt to promote literacy, free books were given out. The event even hosted a cake walk, where many children walked away with a pair of free cakes.

“We gave away all kinds of wonderful stuff,” Gainan smiled. “The three-hour fair goes by very fast.”

A screen for mercury was also offered to test for the mercury level in fish.

The Baby Fair is held once a year and has grown since its birth seven years ago.

“Each year it keeps getting bigger and better,” Gainan said.

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