MERCED — A Merced County Sheriff's Department program geared toward providing activities to children and instilling them with positive values will be highlighted Friday in Merced.
The event, called "2013 Summer Fun: Partners Who Care," is set to take place from 5 to 9 p.m. at the Isaiah Project-Calvary Assembly Church, at 1021 R St. in Merced.
The family-friendly event is open to all ages and includes arts, food, games and more.
The program was launched earlier this month at the Boys and Girls Club of Merced County, and the events are scheduled at a variety of locations countywide throughout July.
The program came to fruition after Sheriff Mark Pazin, Boys and Girls Club Director Tony Slaton and others began brainstorming about ideas and events to keep children occupied with safe, family-friendly activities, according to Deputy Delray Shelton, sheriff's spokesman.
"We just want kids to have some fun and stay out of trouble," Shelton said.
Others involved with program include the city of Merced's Department of Parks and Recreation, Merced City School District, Merced Union High School District, Golden Valley Health Center, Riggs Ambulance and Merced Community Violence Intervention and Prevention Task Force.
On Saturday, the event was held at McNamara Park, with more than 100 kids and their family members turning out for the festivities, which included a barbecue, health information and resources, and a bounce house.
Deputies were on hand to meet and greet members of the community.
"This is truly a collaboration," said Slaton, "Each (event) is getting better. We hope to improve each week."
Additional Operation Summer Fun events are scheduled to take place 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 25 at Planada's Houlihan Park, near Stafford and Sutter streets; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 27 at South Dos Palos Park; and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Romero School in Santa Nella, 13500 W. Luis Road.
Shelton said similar events for youth are slated for Winton and the Beachwood area during the fall.
For more information call (209) 385-7608 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.