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Kollbaums bringing 'Kids Day America' to Ellsworth

The health and well-being of children are behind Kids Day America, an event coming for the first time to Ellsworth Middle School Saturday, May 13, from noon to 3 p.m.

Dr. and Mrs. Kyle Kollbaum of the local Kollbaum Chiropractic Clinic are organizing the special day, centered on children's health, safety and environmental issues. The couple said Friday admission is free to the entire community.

"We want to get parents and their children in contact with health care professionals," Kollbaum said about establishing healthy lifestyles for kids at a young age.

The nationwide program, now in its 12th year, targets youngsters ages 0 to 12, they said. Over three million children have been served by the effort, begun by a chiropractor and his wife from New Jersey.

"We bought the rights to it here," Kollbaum said, indicating originators intended there be only one such event in any one zip code. River Falls and Hudson have previously held similar days in the past, and it was time for Ellsworth to have one, he added.

He said he learned of the effort through a chiropractic/pediatric offering called "Future Perfect." The Kollbaums started organizing the local event in March, including participation in a teleconference call every Monday for 10 weeks. Uniformity in preparations is desired, they said.

Among the features will be a children's display from Pierce County's recycling center, fingerprinting and child identification cards from the Ellsworth Police Department, tours of the Klaas-Jonas Community Swimming Pool, fire truck exhibit and fire safety by the Ellsworth Fire Department, and entertainment by the Ellsworth Funsters.

"The Funsters will be presented a Children's Improvement Award at noon," Mrs. Kollbaum said, explaining this recognition is encouraged by the program to a deserving organization.

Health professionals will include a dentist, who'll inspect kids' mouths and mark any findings on the ID cards for future records, she said. Her husband will conduct spinal checks and nervous system screening.

"The idea is to promote kids being active," he said.

Printed information will be available to parents, who'll be able to ask questions, too, he said. Refreshments will be root beer floats and popcorn.

Adult onset diabetes and its spread to some teenagers is an example of the kind of disease which can be prevented, Kollbaum said, advocating a pro-active approach to health.

"We need to get away from this genes mentality," he said, referring to health problems common in families that make members feel like victims. "We must switch that mindset to one that lifestyle issues can matter."

The Pierce County Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program is the cause chosen by the event to sponsor. Kollbaum said he's a member of the World Children's Wellness Foundation and all donations made will go into a special foundation account, designated for DARE. Area businesses have been contacted about donating; already, several have contributed to the refreshments and publicity.

The Kollbaums hope to make Kids Day America an annual event locally. In the future, they'd like to add more attractions, such as an appearance by a medical helicopter, hunter safety aspect and 4-H involvement.