July 26 Event for Summit County Kids

Family Friendly Carnival With a Cop
Posted on 07/06/2018
Image of Carnival With a Cop(Stephanie Warsmith writing for Ohio.com/Akron Beacon Journal)

The big question about Carnival With a Cop is who enjoys it more — the kids who get a police escort to the Summit County Fair where they ride rides for free or the officers who accompany them.

Both had a great time last year during the inaugural event, sponsored by the Christmas With a Cop program, and will get another go around in a few weeks.

“We definitely want to make it an annual event,” said University of Akron police officer Pamela Helmick, who is helping organize the event. “It’s nice to do two things a year.”

The Christmas With a Cop program involves officers taking low-income youths on a holiday shopping spree each December. The officers involved with the program decided last year to try a second event to mark Christmas in July and treated about 60 Akron-area students to a trip to the fair.

This year’s Carnival With a Cop will be July 26 and will begin with a police escort to the fairgrounds, followed by several hours to enjoy the fair. The fair board is covering the cost of admission for kids and their parents. The rides company is offering free rides, and fair food for lunch was donated. Each student also will receive a backpack filled with school supplies.

Participants will be there on the fair’s Safety Day, which includes firetrucks, police cruisers, ambulances and other emergency vehicles.

“It should be a lot of fun this year,” Helmick said.

Sponsors of the event include Perrin Asphalt, Akron Family Restaurant, Greg’s Towing and Target. Donations also are being accepted from the public to help cover the costs.

Students will attend this year from Copley, Fairlawn, Coventry, Green, Akron and area day care providers.

Julie Van Duzer, assistant director of the Hope Early Care and Education Center, a day care that is part of the Akron Area YMCA, said she is pleased that the center will again have 15 children participate.

“They had such a great time,” she said. “Some of the kids had not had the chance to go to anything like this before.”

Van Duzer said she got positive feedback from a mother who accompanied her children to the fair.

“She thanked me for giving them that experience,” Van Duzer said.

The day care, which has about 125 children ages 6 weeks to 12 years old, is providing the opportunity this year to kids who didn’t get the chance last year.

A new participant in the event this year is the Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority (AMHA), which is in the process of recruiting 25 kids from Akron’s Summit Lake neighborhood to participate.

Brenna Herman, the senior department manager for AMHA’s Resident Services Department, said the event fits in well with other efforts happening in Summit Lake to better engage with residents.

“It’s another opportunity to have something that really builds community,” she said.

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