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May 03. 2014 9:24PM

Child safety program fills Nashua gym

NASHUA - Hundreds of families packed Nashua High South on Saturday for Family Fun Day, an annual festival of games, activities and demonstrations hosted by Lil' Iguana Children's Safety Foundation.

Parents and children roamed the gym, filled on one side with bounce houses, hula-hoops and colorful characters and on the other with booths where treats were doled out and face-painting, hair-glittering and balloon-twisting services were available.

Family Fun Day is one of Lil' Iguana's most popular events, meant to reach out to local families with the organization's message of child safety, health and fitness.

"I think it's fantastic that Nashua has something like this," said Hudson resident Victor Oates as his son, Lucus, 2, joined a line of Zumba dancers.

Lil' Iguana was launched 19 years ago by Nashua resident Jim Tomaszewski, who found himself having to answer some tough questions from his son, then 5, about Jeffery Curley, a 10-year-old Cambridge boy who was kidnapped, sexually abused and murdered.

Tomaszewski's wife, Laurie, said that was a "tipping point" for her husband, who realized he had to teach his son and small daughters how to be safe.

"It's a non-threatening, music-based program," said Laurie Tomaszewski who was volunteering at Family fun Day with her two daughters, Erica and Eden, who are now adults. "We have a musical stage show that goes into schools and kids act as mentors for their peers."

btaormina@newstote.com


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