Tuesday, November 20, 2018 Medina 34°
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Kite Fest aims to battle drug abuse

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Although the sun was hidden behind clouds, dozens of kites brightened the sky Saturday at Kite Fest, hosted by the Medina County Drug Abuse Commission.

“It was the Commission’s idea to bring families and the community together for a day of fun,” said Brian Nowak, director of MCDAC.

“Bringing families together is a preventative factor against drug abuse, and seeing that September is National Recovery Month, we knew we wanted to do a family-oriented event during this time of year. We chose the kite theme after learning that the Hindu religion has kite festival celebration day that teaches kids to move toward light and away from darkness. We felt that it really emphasized what it means to be drug-free.”

Nowak began to research the best way to set up the event, and he discovered the West Virginia New Era Kite Club.

“After doing some digging online, I came across the New Era Kite Club. They put on the most spectacular kite festivals in West Virginia. I went down to their home state for a weekend event that they hosted, and they agreed to come up here to help us with our event. We hope to make this an annual festival.”

The event featured a workshop on how to build kites, entertainment by the St. Ignatius Circus Company, kite flying and crafts and activities for children.

“We started doing kite festivals as a fundraiser to raise money to support our one-room 1884 schoolhouse in West Virginia,” said New Era Kite Club Vice President Dave Bunner.

“The community response has been great back home, and it seems to be popular here, too.”

“I have never been to anything like this before,” said Medina mother Brittany Sanchez, who brought son Paul Balog to the event.

“I have never even flown a kite, but I thought we would try something new. It has been incredibly fun.”

“Face painting has been the most fun thing to do,” said Keira Gaevelein, 5, of Brunswick, who attended the event with her brothers.

“It just feels so American,” said Medina County Commissioner Tim Smith.

“I love it. My favorite part is watching all the kids play and fly a variety of kites. I have never seen kites like these before. It’s amazing. I can’t wait until next year.”

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