KILGORE — SAFFE Day is ready to help its everyday heroes with special needs “Shoot for the Moon” on Saturday.
The last few preparations for the 2019 Special Abilities Family Fun Event Day have been proceeding at a “fast and furious” rate, according to co-organizer Josie Atchley, administrative assistant in the city of Kilgore’s Department of Special Services.
The eighth annual celebration custom-fit for children and adults with special needs and for their families and caregivers is planned for 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the World’s Richest Acre, 100 N. Commerce St., in downtown Kilgore.
“We are ready for this,” Atchley said. “We’ve got a wonderful group of volunteers with everybody doing their part.”
However, they could always use extra help at SAFFE Day. The event will be recruiting adult volunteers through Friday.
This year’s event is “going to be even larger and better. There’s several new surprises that they won’t want to miss,” Atchley said.
The event kicks off at 6 p.m. Thursday with a screening of “E.T. The Extra-terrestrial” at 4 Star Cinema on U.S. 259, with free popcorn and drinks provided.
As always, everything as SAFFE Day is free for attendees, their families and caretakers.
However, preregistering can get guests even more free items.
“We’ve got a lot already preregistered,” Atchley said.” If they preregister, they’ll get a free T-shirt and other free goodies.”
Preregistration deadline is Wednesday, but guests are allowed to attend even if they haven’t registered.
An opening ceremony begins at 10:30 a.m. Saturday. Music, vendors and games are planned throughout the day.
Kilgore Fire Chief Johnny Bellows said he’s expecting a strong turnout.
“Registrations are up this year. I’m going out and meeting people on the streets, and they’re telling me they’re excited. They’re ready to go,” he said.
Bellows said a new event this year will be a fishing tank provided by the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department.
“We’re moving forward, and it’s getting bigger and better,” Bellows said, adding he’d just recently heard a story about a young lady who wakes up every weekend asking if it’s time for SAFFE Day yet.
People who must travel a long distance can register for SAFFE Day and be provided with a free hotel stay the night before the event.
Also, traffic will be blocked off on Commerce Street on Friday so vendors can move in and get into position.
“I would like to encourage people to come out and see what it’s about. It’s one of the most blessed days there is,” Bellows said.