Parents who are looking for an easy way to talk to their elementary- and middle-school-aged children about the dangers of alcohol can ease into the subject during the April Fool's Day Fun event.
The event will be held in the Rim Country Middle School Gym. It begins at 11 a.m. Saturday. It ends with an awards ceremony at 2 p.m.
Last year, the "Start Talking Before They Start Drinking" event was such a success, with 147 people and 54 families participating, that its coordinators decided to offer it again.
"We have developed a fun event that will be a day of displays and games for the family around the theme that drinking isn't acceptable until age 21," said Darlene Duncan, prevention coordinator and community liaison for Rim Guidance Center. "The main game is a bingo scavenger hunt with chances for prizes such as Dairy Queen sundaes, haircuts donated by local stylists and gift certificates from local restaurants."
Families are given a list of 75 statements about underage drinking when they register. Posters with the same information will hang around the gym.
The object of the game is to match the letter of the alphabet on the poster to the number in the brochure and then find the number on your sober bingo card. Place the letter in the number location on the card.
When the card is full, participants will turn in the card for a chance at a prize. Players may earn up to 18 chances per bingo card.
The grand prize is a $500 gift certificate from the store of the winner's choice.
Students Against Destructive Decisions will host a fishing game.
Children can take off their shoes and bounce around in the jumping castle.
"We are trying to get goggles that simulate being under the influence," Duncan said.
Between games, families can snack on free pizza from Pizza Hut, soda, courtesy of Pepsi and desserts from Gerardo's.
Displays from many state and local agencies and organizations will provide a wealth of information.
The Arizona Children's Association will have a large drawing or a patchwork quilt on underage drinking for their booth, Duncan said.
Cenpatico Behavioral Health of Arizona, Gov. Janet Napolitano's office and Southwest Behavioral Health/Rim Guidance Center have funded the event.
The Tonto Apache Tribe donated $1,000 as seed money for the event.
"The donations of many business and civic organizations in the Payson area have also make April Fool's Day Fun possible," Duncan said.
Any business that wishes to help may contact Duncan at (928) 468-8055 ext. 3804.