October kicks off with First Friday downtown

October's First Friday in downtown Statesboro will be held on Oct. 5, 2012.

Hannah Rawles

Statesboro kicks off the fall season with their monthly First Friday event, shedding light on Domestic Violence Awareness month with “Care on the Square” hosted by United Way.

Held in the square of downtown Statesboro, students and families are invited to come out to learn about organizations while having a good time.

“We try to make each event interactive, family friendly and a complete experience,” Allen Muldrew, executive director of the downtown Statesboro development authority, said.

Food and beverages will be provided from a diverse group of local vendors including Simply Sweet Bakery selling gourmet cupcakes, Elliano’s Coffee Company and New York Pizza. Panera Bread is also partnering up with the Statesboro Bulloch County Breast Cancer Foundation.

The organization Safe Haven, a group set up to promote an end to violence, is starting off the event at 5:30 p.m. with a memorial service to raise awareness for domestic abuse victims.

A DJ, booths and even the girl scouts will also be present at the event, Elena McLendon, events coordinator and office manager of Mainstreet Statesboro, said.

This event is way of informing the community about various organizations, Muldrew said.

“College students are some of the best volunteers and have great participation when they know about it,” Muldrew said.

United Way is an organization driven from volunteers. Volunteers meet and determine how to raise and distribute money to other organizations to promote healthy lives, education and well being in communities.

This is an opportunity for these organizations to provide information about their respective organizations and volunteer opportunities, Bob Olliss, executive director of United Way, said.

“There are misconceptions as to what these agencies do, so now they will be able to educate and heighten awareness about themselves,” Olliss said.

United Way has approximately 17 organizations that may have a paid staff, part time staff or are completely reliant on volunteers, Olliss said.

These groups are always looking for volunteers because it’s never known when volunteers will be needed, Muldrew said.

This is the second year First Friday has hosted this theme and will hopefully become an annual event for October, Olliss said.

This local-based event continues throughout the year. On the last Saturday of this month, Scare on the Square will be held to celebrate Halloween, followed by Recycle on the Square in November and Holiday Celebration in December for the Christmas holiday.