The full name is the 7th Annual Apopka Lake Jewel Family Fun Festival and the event lived up to its name.
Two bounce houses, face painting and similar activities provided plenty of fun for the families. And for the grownups there were some serious family-oriented messages from the speakers. And music.
Former Orlando Police Chief and current candidate for Congress Val Demings introduced retired judge Hubert Grimes. Demings’ introduction focused on the needs of the community to fight poverty. Jobs, education and family involvement.
She told the crowd about a boy named Micheal who she met 30 years ago. Michael was a client of hers when she was a social worker (before pursuing a career in law enforcement). Michael’s family had failed him and Demings confessed that she broke some rules getting Michael the help he needed. She stressed the need for families to not fail their kids.
Judge Grimes delivered the Keynote speech and continued the family theme. He told the crowd of what he observed during his years as a county and circuit court judge in Volusia County. And he drew from his book, How to Keep Your Child From Going to Jail. He stressed the need for families to focus on education and used two visual aides to make his point; a graduation mortarboard and a pair of handcuffs.
After his speech Grimes gave away signed copies of his book to the first 50 people to get in line.