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Embracing new life

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BABY SHOWER READY:Healthy Communities of Clinton County Coalition preparred for its biggest community baby shower by asking every sponsor and vendor to bring a gift to be given to the new moms.
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BABY BLISS:From left, Kyleen Leckrone and her sister Kim Gavala check out Behany Sheets resource table from Gifts of Grace, Adoption Support and Center. Leckrone and Gavala are both expecting their first baby.

By Katharine Calabro - kcalabro@ftimes.com

The fifth annual baby shower hosted by Healthy Communities of Clinton County Coalition reached maximum capacity as the outreach event had over 40 newly-delivered or pregnant mothers.

Helping participate in the festivities were 24 vendors providing additional resources to the women celebrating new life, making it the biggest baby shower thrown by HCCCC thus far.

HCCCC Early Start Prenatal Coordinator Libbi Smith said this event is not only an outreach for clients but a way to celebrate and reward new and regular clients who frequent HCCCC.

“Everyone likes to celebrate babies and this is our way to do that and to show the community we love babies, and we will do whatever we need to help,” she said.

Not only do women who participate in the event get the opportunity to speak with different local resources available, they also enjoy the regular fun activities a typical baby shower offers.

Throughout the event women were able to eat cupcakes, be served lunch, punch and pick two big gifts each, donated by HCCCC, sponsors and vendors. Gifts ranged from car seats, strollers, diapers, gift cards, monitors and pack ‘n plays.

On top of that, the event offered quick education during its break-out sessions about safe sleep, car seat safety, immunizations and more.

Clinton County residents and sisters Kyleen Leckrone and Kim Gavala were new to the community baby shower event. Since both sisters are expecting, Leckrone said the information was helpful.

“It was neat to see a lot of moms get involved,” she said. “Going to each vendor and learning about what they do was really helpful.”

The event gave the sisters a chance to really expand their knowledge on things they need for the future including insurance.

“It was really nice for us to get information and resources we could use, if I hadn’t gone to the event I wouldn’t know anything about,” Gavala added.

Smith said something she wants people to understand is that everything HCCCC does for the community including what they do for new mothers is free. She said helping educate expecting and new mothers can help decrease the infant mortality rate, which is something HCCCC has been focusing on. 

“The infant mortality rate in the State of Indiana is pretty high so there is a big emphasis in the state to decrease that right now,” Smith said.

Because the event ended up reaching maximum capacity, Smith said social media is to thank. Last year, HCCCC only posted on its page promoting the event, but this year the event was also posted on two different sites. At one point, the event even had 58 moms signed up to attend.

Even though not all new and expecting mothers were able to show up to the event, Gavala said it’s an opportunity all moms should get the chance to be apart of. She advises everyone give it a chance, even if they might be embarrassed or scared.

“My sister and I didn’t know anybody but they made us feel at home and it was nice,” Gavala said. “Now that we’ve gone we are excited we got that opportunity.”