PITTSBURG — The community will be able to vote with dollars for the best diaper cake at the 25th annual Parents’ University event on Tuesday at Meadowbrook Mall.

All of the diapers and any other baby items which make up the cake will be donated to the Crawford County Diaper Stock and other early childhood agencies.

The person whose cake raised the most money in their jar will receive a prize. Diaper cakes should be dropped off around 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday at the mall.

Kansas State Wildcat District Research and Extension Adult Development and Aging Agent Chuckie Hessong said this will be the first diaper cake contest during Parents’ University.

“The contest will help raise awareness for the need for diapers in Crawford County and also gather some money,” she said.

Parents as Teachers Parent Educator Dacia White said the contest will help the Crawford County Diaper Stock, which plans to begin helping low income families with diapers on October 1.

White said the families must be participating in an early childhood agency program to receive diapers — which could include Birth to Three, Crawford County Health Department’s Teen Pregnancy or Prenatal Education Classes and Early Head Start.

According to the Crawford County Diaper Stock pamphlet, diapers are an expense one out of three families struggle with and are not covered by food stamps or the Women, Infants and Children program — diapers cost about $70 to $80 per month. To conserve the diapers they do have, some families reuse soiled diapers or may leave their child in the soiled diapers, which leads to rashes infections or other health issues, the pamphlet read.

The pamphlet also says the discomfort from soiled diapers and irritation caused by them, makes babies cry, which could increase the risk of child abuse.

People who wish to donate to the Crawford County Diaper Stock may take their donations to the Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas or call Dacia White at 620-719-0835.

About the event:

This is the 25th annual Parents’ University event where area volunteers and early childhood agencies host play and learn station's. Volunteers include Pittsburg State University nursing students, St. Mary’s students, the Circle K Club and Kiwanis.

“It has changed over years to meet families’ needs,” Hessong said. “This year they are focusing on providing fun activities for kids and give parents ideas about activities they can do and how important these are for their kids.”

The event will be from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday at Meadowbrook Mall.

This year will also include snacks, activities and the Pittsburg Police Department will have child safety seat checks to ensure seats are installed properly. Hessong said there will be an opportunity to replace unsafe seats and  families must fill out the proper documents to get replacement seats.

The event is free to the public and there will be a door prize which people can sign up for at the registration table.

 — Stephanie Potter is a staff writer at the Morning Sun. She can be emailed at spotter@morningsun.net or follow her on Twitter @PittStephP and Instagram @stephanie_morningsun.