PITTSBURG — Crawford County Mental Health is launching the first year of what it hopes to make an annual event Saturday.

The first annual Brighter Days takes place Saturday at the Robert W. Plaster Center, and will feature multiple events, including a 5k run or walk, Zumba-thon, art contest, children’s inflatables and more.

“For being the first year of an annual event, I think we are going to have a great turnout,” CCMH Marketing and Personnel Director Heather Spaur said. “We hope to grow each year.”

While Brighter Days brings fun and games, it also aims to bring awareness to the community about available mental health resources. Along with the inflatables and vendors, Brighter Days will include several information booths including information from CCMH, Live Well Crawford County, Southeast Kansas Gambling Task Force, counselors and much more.

“The main goal is to raise awareness about mental health,” Spaur said. “To let people know there is no shame and that help is out there.”

Vendors alongside the information booths will include Juice Plus, Rodan and Fields, Pittsburg Jazzercise and more. Performances will also be put on by Dance Pitt and the YMCA Academy of Dance.

Attendants can also enter an art contest. Winners of the contest will be announced at noon, along with winners of the silent auction and raffle.

“We already have 70 entries for the art contest,” Spaur said.

Brighter Days will take place on the first ever Crawford County Mental Health Awareness Day. Spaur and CCHM Executive Director Rick Pfeiffer were presented with a proclamation from the Crawford County Commission Tuesday, making September 16, 2017 Crawford County Mental Health Awareness Day.

Registration for the 5k opens at 7:30 a.m., with the run or walk starting at 8 a.m. Zumba registration opens at 9 a.m. Information booths and vendors open at 9 a.m., and inflatables begin at 10 a.m. Dance performances start at 11:30 a.m.

Admission to the event is free. Registration for the Zumba-thon is $15, and registration for the 5k is $25 or $15 for students. Registration includes a Brighter Days t-shirt. T-shirts can also be purchased separately.

Inflatables are free and concessions will be available.

— Chance Hoener is a staff writer for the Morning Sun. He can be emailed at choener@morningsun.net or follow him on Twitter @ReporterChance.