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Hip hop artist Anthony Mack, break dancers headline free event at the Woodburn Armory

As summer hits its zenith, many kids and families are looking around for family friendly activities heading into the final month before the start of the school year.

COURTESY PHOTO - Woodburn Youth Night is the first in a planned annual event, featuring music from hip hop artist Anthony Mack, along with a variety of games and prizes.Look no further than the Woodburn Armory, where the first in a planned annual Woodburn Youth Night will take place on Sunday, July 28 from 5 to 8 p.m.

The free, all-ages event was conceived by Woodburn resident Nancy Miller, who wanted a fun mid-summer evening for kids that gives them something to do while letting them know that there is a community of positive support available in a sometimes not-so-positive world.

"We want to uplift the kids,' she said. "Show them the community is behind them, that we believe in them and their future. They're not getting those messages, and it just breaks my heart. There's a lot of fear and anger."

Miller reached out to a wide variety of local businesses and members of the community to see who would be willing to donate their time and resources to an evening supporting youth and got a number of commitments both from Woodburn and outside the community.

Headlining the event is Portland/Vancouver hip hop artist Anthony Mack, whose songs provide a positive message about education, respect and family while growing up in the metro area.

"He sent me his newest album, and it's all about promoting positive stuff with our kids," Miller said.

Local community activist Juan Martinez, founder of the West Coast Kruzerz car club and the Mid-City Breakers break dancing organization will also be on hand, providing dancing lessons and demonstrations as well.

In addition to the two entertainment acts, there will be a variety of volunteers from the business community coming out with prizes. The manager of Big 5 sporting goods will have a table on hand and will be giving out basketballs. A representative from Zumiez will also be there, giving out skateboards.

Miller arranged to give out 200 backpacks, in addition to a number of door prizes, and secured a guitar to give away in a free raffle. Woodburn police and fire officials will be there to give out free bicycle helmets to youth as well.

"I know that a lot of people in the community are supporting," she said.

Miller has also connected with youth basketball coaches and youth pastors — any and all who would be willing to come out and promote the theme of the events: Music, education and sports.

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