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Mall, Leadership Kitsap host special event for the mall rat crowd

Mall rats unite — your time has come.

Kitsap Mall hosts TeenFest, a night just teens, from 5-8 p.m. on Friday, April 29 and it’s free. The new event is a project of Leadership Kitsap that wants not only to provide teenagers with valuable information and resources, but to make it fun and interactive.

Among the topics covered include health, fitness, education, career and financial planning, volunteerism and recreation.

“In one stop teens can get really useful information,” said Leadership Kitsap team member Kelly Woodward. “We also want it to be really fun. Kids don’t want to feel lectured.”

To ensure teens will have fun, the event will offer hands-on activities, interactive displays and lots of free prizes and giveaways. Main stage events will include hip-hop dance and martial arts demonstrations, Trojan Soldiers Step and Samoan dance teams from Olympic High School and a teen fashion show.

“It’s going to be a really fun thing for teens to come to,” Woodward said. “Adults will be there and it will be supervised. Parents are welcome, but it’s not necessary.”

Teens also will learn about budgeting, career planning, romance and dating risks, how to register to vote and how to fight eating disorders.

“There are a lot of kids who don’t have the resources or don’t know where to find resources, especially in one place,” Woodward said.

Free gifts and door prizes will include a Seattle Seahawks helmet signed by Matt Hasselbeck, tickets to the Experience Music Project in Seattle and Visa gift cards.

Leadership Kitsap team members Adam Brockus, Harriette Bryant, Alene Evans, Grace Greenside, Keith Hazen and Woodward have been planning the event since September and introduced the idea to Kitsap Mall officials.

“We were looking at programs last year when we were developing our marketing plan and we knew we wanted to do something for teens,” Stacey Ames, Kitsap Mall spokeswoman, said. “(TeenFest) fit right in with what we wanted to do.”

She added that TeenFest is similar to Kitsap Mall’s annual Girl’s Night Out event, but is not as focused on workshops and is more interactive.

“Our focus is to get them moving around and having fun,” Ames said. “There will be a lot more prizes, a lot of stuff to give away.

Local teenagers also helped to put their spin on it. Klahowya Secondary School leadership class students Britni Bronniman and Brandie Jones helped in planning the event along with advisor Bryan Demeray.

For more information on TeenFest call Kitsap Mall at (360) 698-2555 or visit its Web site at www.shopkitsapmall.com.

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