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Seminole loves its kids: Fun begins June 5

By Times staff writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published May 15, 2002

SEMINOLE -- Kids' Appreciation Day is back where it belongs, on the last day of school.

The 22nd annual event will be from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. June 5 at Seminole City Park, 7464 Ridge Road.

Last year, it was billed as a back-to-school event and held in August because of the renovations taking place at the City Park and the Seminole Recreation Center.

The attractions include free refreshments, games, contests, entertainment and prizes. The shindig is mainly for youngsters in Seminole-area elementary schools.

"This is a way for our community to say 'we appreciate you' to kids," said Jimmy Johnson, executive director of the Greater Seminole Area Chamber of Commerce, which is sponsoring the event with the city, the Rotary Club, Kiwanis and several businesses and individuals. "We rely totally on the business community and others for financial and in-kind contributions."

In addition to sponsors, event chairman Dr. Stephen Nickse is looking for volunteers to staff the event. Last year, about 2,000 children attended.

Johnson and several other Seminole business men and women organized the first Appreciation Day in June 1981 to counter the negative publicity surrounding a local incident earlier that year involving youths and drugs. "It was a way to turn a negative into a positive," Johnson said.

In recent times, the event has been a way of helping the youngsters celebrate the first day of their summer vacation.

For information, call Nickse at 399-2229, the chamber office, 392-3245 or the Seminole Recreation Center, 391-8345.

-- Information from Times files was used in this report.

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