After the 2009 death of Robert Manwill at the hands of his mother and her boyfriend, many groups in the community came up with ways to remember him and try to bring attention to the persistent issue of child abuse.
"Artists for Kids," an annual silent art auction in New Plymouth (where Robert attended grade school at the time of his death), is one of the most creative.
The free event, which also includes raffles of donated baskets from businesses in the community and speakers on the topic of child abuse prevention, begins at 5 p.m. Saturday, April 20, at the Purple Couch Coffee House, 128 N. Plymouth Ave. in New Plymouth.
The timing of the event is also key: April is child abuse awareness month.
Guests will be able to bid on pieces created by amateur and professional artists in the community. All the proceeds will go to the Robert Manwill Scholarship Fund.
The money will be kept in trust until 2019, the year Robert would have graduated from high school. The money will be awarded then as a scholarship to students in Robert's class to help them continue their education.
Organizer and artist Katy Belanger said she and her fellow artists are committed to seeing this effort through in honor of Robert. The fund has grown to more than $11,000 over the last four years.
There's something new this year: Robert's Run, a 5k all-ages run/walk. The race begins at 10:30 a.m. on April 20 at Kiwanis Park on Ash Street in New Plymouth. To register: $25 day of the race, 9 to 10 a.m. All proceeds benefit the scholarship. Early registration: $20, contact: 740-4274.
Other events include a BBQ at the Senior Center and live music throughout the day.
Belanger is still looking for artists to donate work for the auction and volunteers to help in other ways.
Contact her and get more information: firstname.lastname@example.org or 739-6464.
LIBRARIES OFFER FREE PROGRAMS FOR FINANCIAL WELL-BEING
Throughout the month of April, Ada County LYNX! libraries: Ada Community, Boise Public, Eagle Public, Garden City Public, and Meridian District, are offering a month-long series of financial literacy classes for residents ages 18-32 called "Stash Your Cash."
Here's why you, or someone you know, should pay attention: According to a recent Experian National Score Index, individuals in the Mountain West region of the U.S., which includes Idaho:
Carry 9 percent more consumer debt ($18,049) than the national average of $16,649.
Have made more late payments (1.31) than the national average of 1.19.
The program covers a range of topics, including debt elimination, buying a first home and safeguarding personal documents.
Find a full list of events online. Find a link through this column at idahostatesman.com or consult your local library.
The next program:
Who Wants to Live Like a Millionaire? Debt Prevention and Elimination 7 p.m., Thursday, April 11, Ada Community Library Star Branch, 10706 W. State St.
MERIDIAN NEEDS POLICE-PARK PATROL VOLUNTEERS
The city has created a new volunteer patrol program for Julius M. Kleiner Park, and is looking for volunteers to fill the ranks.
An orientation session is from 4 to 5:45 p.m. Wednesday, April 17, at the Meridian Police Department. Potential volunteers must be 18 and must pass a criminal background check.
Citizen volunteers will patrol the park on foot, bicycle or utility carts. They will act as the "eyes and ears" of law enforcement as well as answer questions for park visitors.
Questions? Contact Meridian Police Volunteer Coordinator Barbara Hatch at 846-7340.
FREE EXAMS FOR UNINSURED ADULTS
The American Heart Association says cardiovascular disease is the number one killer of women and a leading cause of death in men.
Learn more at a free community health screening for uninsured adults, 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday, April 11, at the Boys & Girls Club of Ada County, 610 E. 42nd St., in Garden City.
Anna Webb: 377-6431