Local News

Week of the Family celebrates at Ag Center

SEBRING - What can happen when children don't stay in their car seats? Lt. Montie Dowling of Lake Placid demonstrated with the cab of a pickup truck mounted on a trailer. "This is a dummy," he sat a doll about their size in front of Charlee Anne Pace, 3, and Tyler Pace, 5, of Wauchula. Then he put the doll inside the truck cab and pushed a button. The cab began rolling, just like a vehicle during a rollover crash, and the children could hear and see the doll being tossed around inside.
The doll wasn't ejected this time, but that still proved the trooper's point: don't wear a seat belt, and it's impossible to predict what will happen. Dowling's Florida Highway Patrol demonstration was one of dozens of events on the last day of the Week of the Family. Dale Barger, Bob Fales and Kevin Wheaton, all from the Sebring Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, made and served rock salt ice cream with a John Deere tractor turning the crank. "We call it the Lean Green Tractor Ice Cream Making Machine," said Bette Prine, who was chairing the fourth annual event. It took her 10 minutes to list all the events, a magic show, a martial arts demonstration, a dance performance, singing from Heartland Idol contestants, a petting zoo, carpet bowling, clowns, a balloon artist, face painting, an art contest, an essay contest... "I've probably missed a few," Prine said. "Oh, the Masons are taking the children's DNA. And there are crafts. And 25 vendors." Her point, though, is to focus on the family. "We want to help start a new tradition. One night a week, get back to the dinner table. Watch a movie. Get off the couch and go out in the backyard. Whatever you do, do it as a family. They need to come back together. We need to strengthen the family," Prine said. Saturday was the final day in schedule that kicked off with homemade ice cream for the car cruisers on Sebring's Circle Park. Prine is already making plans for next year, though. gpinnell@highlandstoday.com 863-386-5828