Monterey County

'Family Fun Fest' meant to bring Salinas families together, organizers said

SALINAS, Calif. - Partners For Peace held its inaugural "Family Fun Fest" at Cesar Chavez Community Park in Salinas Sunday.

The motto for the day was 'a family that plays together, stays together.'

No one stayed more true to that mantra than single parent of two, Cynthia Gomez.

"If (my children) go somewhere I have to go with them even outside my house," Gomez said. "If they go on the front porch, I'm outside with them."

As smiles and laughter billow out from the moon-bounce, Gomez said she always has her eyes peeled for danger in Salinas.

"To me, my kids are my treasure and if something (were to) happen to them, I would just die," she said.

Partners For Peace said putting on events like these really helps remind parents that spending more time with their kids actually puts them on a better path for success.

"Often, parents think when the kid goes to middle school, 'oh, they're old enough, they can be on their own,' kids need their parents more than ever," said Kathy Bauer, executive director with Partners For Peace.

The games, the dancing and community family resource tables are all a part of an event that coincidentally is one month since the rash of violence in Salinas.

Gomez said simply paying attention to your kids can make all the difference. As as a result, one of her sons has big aspirations, she said.

"I have a future president which I'm so excited about," she said sheepishly. "Vote for him!"

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