Community baby shower coming up

Many baby-related items are available to people attending the 24th Annual Community Baby Shower and Health Fair set for April 12 at Northiron Church in Ishpeming. The goal of the event is to educate young families on resources available to them in Marquette County. (Photo courtesy of Barbie Dupras)

By CHRISTIE BLECK

Journal Staff Writer

MARQUETTE — The upcoming Marquette County Community Baby Shower and Health Fair goes way beyond the typical showers friends give for expectant moms.

Barbie Dupras is co-chairwoman, along with Trecia Nickerson, of the 24th annual event scheduled for April 12 at Northiron Church, 910 Palms Ave., located next to the Ishpeming Armory along U.S. 41. Registration begins at 12:30 p.m., followed by the shower at 1 p.m.

The event is geared toward pregnant women or anyone with babies under 6 months old.

“The purpose is to educate young families on what’s available in Marquette County to help them with their babies,” Dupras said. “We do an evaluation at the end, and a lot of them will say, ‘I had no idea there was so much in Marquette County to support families.'”

Even parenting knowhow, such as the proper way to put on a diaper, could be unfamiliar to many young families.

Another push by one of the groups involved in the shower, Community Action Alger-Marquette, is the concept of “safe sleep,” she said.

Dupras said this differs from the days when babies were put on their bellies.

“You have to put your baby on the back now,” she said.

When attendees come in to the shower, they are given bags that contain diapers, a “board book” — created for babies — from the Marquette Alger Reading Council, and other items, she said.

There are bigger-ticket goods as well.

Each attendee is assigned a number, and when the number is called, that person is guided to another room where a large item such as a crib, high chair, car seat or stroller can be chosen, Dupras said.

They then go to the “diaper depot” and receive a pack of diapers and a knitted item.

Dupras said donations in the form of goods and money are being sought. Checks made payable to CAAM-baby shower as well as items can be dropped off at the organization, located at 1125 Commerce Drive in Marquette Township, or they can be picked up.

“Every shower is dependent on the funds we raise this year,” said Dupras, who noted donations can be items such as knitted blankets and boxes of diapers.

Of course, funds are important too.

“The more we can buy, the more we can have at the shower,” Dupras said.

The Community Baby Shower Committee is composed of organizations encompassing a wide variety of interests in the region: Community Action Alger-Marquette/Early Head Start and Head Start, the Marquette County Health Department, The Queen’s Heart, the Care Clinic of Marquette/Sawyer, the YMCA of Marquette County, the Marquette Alger Reading Council, the Child Abuse and Neglect Council, Early On, the Marquette-Alger Great Start Collaborative, the Superior Alliance for Independent Living, the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program, and Marquette County residents.

These organizations operate booths at the event where light refreshments will be available, Dupras said.

“It’s a happy atmosphere,” she said, “and then they can go around to all the booths and see what’s available in Marquette County for people with little babies and people that are pregnant.”

With all the brochures available at the booths, that’s when the bags handed out to people come in handy, Dupras said.

Reservations are limited to the first 75 mothers plus one adult guest. No strollers will be allowed in the building during the event. Child care is provided on a limited basis.

For information, call Dupras at 906-228-6522 ext. 253 or Nickerson at 906-228-6522 ext. 257 by April 5.

Although the event is free, Dupras said people must send an RSVP to attend.

Christie Bleck can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 250. Her email address is cbleck@miningjournal.net.

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