(ST. JOSEPH, Mo) The Mayor’s Christmas party at the Bode Ice Arena gives local families the chance to hit the ice, and come together .during the holiday season, but the annual tradition in St. Joseph took time to inform local families about lead paint dangers.
"It's a long-standing tradition," Bill McMurray, St. Joseph, mayor, said. "It's a beautiful time of year to get all the kids together and meet Santa."
This year, organizers teamed up with the Environmental Protection Agency to make sure those families were informed of an important topic for this area.
"I was contacted by the EPA earlier in the year," Julie Noel, Organizer, said. "They were wondering if they could partner with us for this event."
the organization wants to spread the word about the dangers of lead paint in local homes, St. Joseph has a high number of older homes that could contain lead. Mayor McMurray said awareness is critical to keeping families safe.
"The EPA is making a big push now to help St Joe remediate this lead paint problem," McMurray said. "We don’t want our children to be exposed to lead."
Organizers of the Christmas party said it's important to keep families informed.
"This is a great way for [families] and children to be educated about the dangers of lead-based paint," Noel said.
Which is why this year, they gave the gift of information.
"Giving is what Christmas is all about," McMurray said.