Saturday, September 20, 2014

Holidays and Observances for September 20 2014

Boys' and Girls' Club Day for Kids

Unlike many other countries, America does not have an official day to celebrate its children. Boys & Girls Clubs of America, along with the support of other leading youth-serving organizations, is working to change that by establishing a Saturday in September each year as Boys & Girls Clubs Day for Kids.

Created as a day to foster relationships between adults and children, the mission of BGC Day for Kids is to establish a day to celebrate and honor American children through the gift of meaningful time. Research shows that when adults spend meaningful time with kids it helps them develop a positive self-image and a sense of belonging, usefulness and purpose. Now, more than ever, BGC Day for Kids provides adults and kids an opportunity to take a break from their busy lives and celebrate the wonder of life and the fulfillment of spending time together.

Boys & Girls Clubs of America hopes to make BGC Day for Kids a permanent part of our national culture. Soon we hope the month of September not only recalls the full swing of the fall and back-to-school season, but also BGC Day for Kids, the day we devote our hearts and our minds to our children as a nation.

Day for Kids is a national initiative that invites you to join Boys & Girls Clubs in making a difference for kids in your community. For more than a decade, adults have participated in Day for Kids events to advocate for youth and celebrate the life-changing work taking place at Boys & Girls Clubs.

Many young people face serious issues in childhood that can impact their success in adulthood:
  • 15.1 million children are home alone after school
  • 16.1 million youth live in poverty
  • 1 in 4 students fail to graduate from high school
  • Nearly 4,000 juveniles are arrested daily
  • One-third of kids are overweight
Our more than 4,000 Boys & Girls Clubs nationwide create a safe environment with resources and support to help youth create great futures. With more than 150 years' experience serving approximately 4 million youth nationwide, we believe that the day a child enters our doors can change their life.

International Coastal Cleanup Day

Have you heard of the International Coastal Cleanup? It happens every year in September and is the largest global volunteer day in service to our lakes, oceans, and rivers. Each year, approximately 600,000 people worldwide dedicate time to cleaning up their local waterways. The catch is that they record every single piece of trash collected! The results are then sent to the Ocean Conservancy and published into an annual report to give us an idea of exactly what is floating around in our oceans (hint: the most prevalent item is small, plastic, and brown and white in color).

Last year, over 10 million pounds of trash were collected. Items ranged from lottery tickets to tires to toothbrushes. What will be found this year?

The 2014 International Coastal Cleanup Day is Saturday, September 20, although cleanups that happen throughout the month will count towards the trash totals.

California Coastal Cleanup Day was first organized in 1985 by the California Coastal Commission, but the idea of a community-based cleanup event did not come from California. The year before, Oregon resident Judie Neilson had grown concerned over the amount of plastic debris she saw littering the Oregon coast. In October of 1984, Judie organized the first Coastal Cleanup Day, turning out over 2,800 volunteers to the beaches of Oregon. California watched, admired, and the next year, emulated Judie’s efforts with its first statewide Coastal Cleanup Day.

Close to 2,500 Californians joined in the initial Cleanup, and the program has been growing by leaps and bounds ever since. In 1986, The Ocean Conservancy (then known as the Center for Marine Conservation) ran its first Coastal Cleanup in Texas, and in later years became the coordinating agency for the International Coastal Cleanup, helping to spread the concept to nations around the world. 

In 1993, California Coastal Cleanup Day was recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the “largest garbage collection” ever organized, with 50,405 volunteers. Since then, the reach of Coastal Cleanup Day has steadily spread inland. Most of the marine debris that we find on our beaches actually starts as urban trash or street litter, so this continuing effort to “stop trash where it starts” has actually increased the amount of trash picked up per person each year. (See Figures below) 

Coastal Cleanup Day is about much more than picking up trash. It’s a chance for Californians to join people around the world in expressing their respect for our oceans and waterways. It’s an opportunity for the community to demonstrate its desire for clean water and healthy marine life. And it’s a moment to share with one’s neighbors, family, and friends, coming together to accomplish something vital and worthy on behalf of our environment. 

International Eat An Apple Day

To promote the beginning of fall with its vivid color and crispness, celebrate by eating an apple, the fruit of the fall season. Annually, the third Saturday in September.

The apple emerged as a celebrated fruit at the beginning human history. Whether you start with Adam and Eve or the anthropological data on Stone Age man in Europe, the apple was there. Greek and Roman mythology refer to apples as symbols of love and beauty. When the Romans conquered England about the first century B.C., they brought apple cultivation with them. William Tell gained fame by shooting an apple off his son's head at the order of invaders of Switzerland.

The Pilgrims discovered crabapples had preceded them to America, but the fruit was not very edible. The Massachusetts Bay Colony requested seeds and cuttings from England, which were brought over on subsequent voyages to Boston. Other Europeans brought apple stock to Virginia and the Southwest, and a Massachusetts man, John Chapman, became famous for planting trees throughout Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois (his name became "Johnny Appleseed"). Seeds from an apple given to a London sea captain in 1820 are sometimes said to be the origin of the State of Washington apple crop (now the largest in the U.S.).

As the country was settled, nearly every farm grew some apples. Although some were very good, most of the early varieties would be considered poor quality today. Of nearly 8000 varieties known around the world, about 100 are grown in commercial quantity in the U.S., with the top 10 comprising over 90% of the crop.

Our modern orchards combine the rich heritage of apple growing with research and field trials to grow an annual U.S. crop exceeding 220,000,000 bushels. New varieties are still being discovered and cultivated, with the best eventually becoming household words like McIntosh, Delicious, Empire, Rome, Spartan, Cortland, Granny Smith, etc.. Recent arrivals include Fuji, Braeburn, Liberty, and many antique varieties are enjoying a resurgence.

National Punch Day

National Punch Day is celebrated on September 20th of each year. We were unable to discover the origin of National Punch Day.

Punch is the term for a wide assortment of drinks, both non-alcoholic and alcoholic, generally containing fruit or fruit juice. The drink was introduced from India to England in the early seventeenth century; from there its use spread to other countries. Punch is typically served at parties in large, wide bowls, known as punch bowls.

The word punch is a loanword from Hindi panch (meaning five) and the drink was originally made with five ingredients: alcohol, sugar, lemon, water, and tea or spices. The original drink was named paantsch.
The drink was brought to England from India by sailors and employees of the British East India Company in the early seventeenth century. From there it was introduced into other European countries. When served communally, the drink is expected to be of a lower alcohol content than a typical cocktail.

The term punch was first recorded in British documents in 1632. At the time, most punches were of the Wassail type made with a wine or brandy base. But around 1655, Jamaican rum came into use and the ‘modern’ punch was born. By 1671, documents make references to punch houses.

Today, soft drink manufacturers distribute many types of “fruit punch” beverages. These are usually red colored drinks. Despite the name, most brands contain only a small fraction of actual fruit juice, the major constituents being sugar or corn syrup, citric acid, and artificial flavors.

AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Day

Each year, the American Kennel Club® calls on its more than 5,000 affiliated dog clubs and all other pet-related organizations from around the country to participate in AKC RDO Days by hosting a community event that includes activities like dog sport demos, breed parades, safety around dog presentations for kids, microchipping clinics and more. The nationwide initiative educates the public about the importance of being a responsible dog owner and celebrates the deep bond between humans and their canine companions.

AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Days (RDO) returns for 2014 celebrating a very important American Kennel Club® (AKC) milestone – the 25th birthday of AKC’s Canine Good Citizen® (CGC) program! Join in on the birthday fun by hosting an AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Days event that includes a Canine Good Citizen test this year.

AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Days is expanding in 2014. AKC clubs and other organizations can now host events at any time. Although the AKC will once again host its Flagship AKC RDO Day in September, clubs are welcome to host an AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Days event and spread the importance of responsible dog ownership throughout the year.

Wondering what you can do for your RDO Day? Try including one or more of these activities:
  • Offer Canine Good Citizen (A free CGC test kit is included in your RDO Day materials!)
  • Breed Parades/Meet the right dog for you
  • Obedience/Agility/Rally/Performance demonstrations
  • Encourage attendees to try an agility or rally course with their dog while club members coach them along
  • ID clinic- Hold an AKC Reunite microchip clinic
  • Rescue information booth
  • Health clinic/health screen testing/First Aid for dogs
  • AKC Canine Partners demonstration and/or booth
  • Hold free training class for dog owners and give a presentation about AKC Purebred Alternative Listing Program or AKC Canine Partners
  • Therapy/SAR Dog or Police K9 Unit demonstrations
  • "AKC Safety Around Dogs" for kids presentations (in-school or for children's groups)
  • A kids contest with awards for best drawings, photos or essays about dogs
The 2014 AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Days is offered with support from national sponsors PetPartners, Inc., a leading pet healthcare provider and Motel 6, the first national pet friendly chain, welcoming pets since 1962.

National Gymnastics Day

For the second straight year, 2012 Olympic all-around champion Gabby Douglas and 2008 Olympic horizontal bar silver medalist Jonathan Horton of Houston/Team Hilton HHonors (Cypress Gymnastics), are serving as co-chairs for National Gymnastics Day, when the USA Gymnastics community celebrates the sport of gymnastics and the importance of play for all children. USA Gymnastics is partnering with Right To Play to extend the outreach for National Gymnastics Day to children who do not have access to gymnastics programs on a regular basis. To accommodate the wealth of interest, programs and events, National Gymnastics Day on Sept. 20 is the start of four days of fun and programs to promote the benefits of gymnastics and the life skills the sport teaches, with many programs and activities focused on providing opportunities to underprivileged children.

The spectrum of planned activities during Sept. 20-23 ranges from gymnastics demonstrations to inviting under-privileged, military and/or neighborhood center children to participate in gymnastics activities to visiting local area schools to hold gymnastics activities and play-based learning games. Five gymnastics clubs are offering scholarships for a total of 101 underserved or underprivileged children.

“National Gymnastics Day began as simply an opportunity to promote our great sport,” said Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics. “For more than 10 years, this special day has also grown into a time for giving back and helping those less fortunate. USA Gymnastics and Right To Play share the belief that play is important to the growth of today’s youth, and we appreciate the many activities and initiatives our community has created to bring gymnastics and the spirit of play to those who are less fortunate.”

Johann Olav Koss, the founder of Right To Play, said, “Right To Play began as an initiative to bring the power of sport and play to children living in countries affected by war, poverty and disease. Our partnership with USA Gymnastics has helped us extend that reach to children in the United States who also do not have the opportunity to experience the power of play and how it can help them prepare for the future. This year, through National Gymnastics Day, we hope to reach more than 10,000 children in cities and communities across the U.S.”

Among the hundreds of clubs nationwide hosting National Gymnastics Day functions, are 34 USA Gymnastics member clubs that received a grant through the partnership of USA Gymnastics and Right To Play, a global organization that uses sport and play programs to educate and empower children facing adversity, to create activities to benefit underprivileged children in their communities.

National Seat Check Saturday

If the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were to tell you that heart disease is the leading cause of death in men, you may or may not adopt the Mayo Clinic's recommended preventive measures such as quitting smoking, getting more exercise and eating a heart-healthy diet. But if the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration were to tell you that car crashes were the leading cause of death for children age 1 to 13, you'd almost certainly take every reasonable precaution to protect those who depend on you to keep them safe. Well, you'll have just such an opportunity this weekend during National Car Seat Check Saturday.

The event, which wraps up Child Passenger Safety Week, invites parents, grandparents and caretakers to have their child-safety seats inspected by certified car-seat technicians. This weekend, schools, hospitals, fire and police stations, retail stores, banks, car dealerships, civic buildings and other locations will be offering car-seat inspections on National Car Seat Check Saturday. You can find a participating location by going to NHTSA's Child Car Seat Inspection Station Locator.

What you'll need for the inspection is your child, the car seat and the seat’s manual, as well as your vehicle owner’s manual. The assisting car-seat technician will consult both manuals with you and then demonstrate proper installation. Remember, the technician's job is to educate parents and caretakers on proper installation, not to perform the installation. That's yourjob!

Inspection stations could be busy and have a lengthy wait, so be sure to bring activities and snacks for your child. If you can't make it to Saturday's event, inspections are offered year-round at inspection stations. Parents can also contact their local police or fire departments to find out if they have a technician on staff.

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