Expectant parents encouraged to attend Marion County’s annual baby shower event

There’s good news for families expecting a new child – Marion County’s World’s Greatest Baby Shower is back for the fourth year in a row.

The free, educational event for expectant and new parents is being organized through the Healthy Start of North Central Florida Coalition and WellFlorida Council. It is being brought to the public by the Early Learning Coalition of Marion County, Alpha Center for Women, Tobacco Free Partnership of Marion County, AdventHealth Ocala, Staywell/WellCare and Things To Do Ocala.

This year’s event will be held on Thursday, Jan. 23 at the Sheriff’s Office Multi-Purpose Room (3300 NW 10th St., Ocala). The Baby Shower will be offered in two sessions to accommodate the more than 300 families expected to attend.

The first session will run from 3-5 p.m., with the second following from 6-8 p.m. Families can attend either session, as the content will be the same in each one.

There is no cost to attend and pre-registration is not required. Fathers are encouraged to join, as an exciting activity just for dads will be held during each session.

Shower attendees will learn from community partners and various organizations about important prenatal, newborn and early childhood topics, such as healthy lifestyles, prenatal and newborn care, infant safety, early literacy and positive parenting. Participants will also be able to obtain much-needed items for baby’s arrival with door prizes and education-based drawings.

For more information, sponsorship or volunteer opportunities, please contact planning committee chair Erin Peterson at (352) 727-0711 or epeterson@wellflorida.org. In-kind donations of baby items and monetary contributions are welcome. All donations are tax deductible and 100 percent of the those received will go directly toward the event and families.