TOUCH Annual Picnic

By Gina Ford

September 19, 2010 Updated Sep 19, 2010 at 10:17 PM CDT

Hundreds flocked to Wildlife Prairie State Park to rejuvenate their families. Today was the 24th annual TOUCH picnic.

TOUCH stands for The Organization for Understanding Children's Hearts.

These area residents have children with heart defects. There were games, balloons, food and face painting for the hundreds of children and their families.

Many of the children have already had heart surgery, some are preparing for more.

The event's founder said today was a day for them to put aside their fears.

"It allows us to bring together children and their families who have been born with congenital heart defects," said Gail Eaton. "It kinda gives them an opportunity to realize they're not alone, there are other kids just like them and it also lets their families know that they're not alone."

Cardiac Physicians were also on hand to interact with their young patients.

Organizers estimate about 750 people attended the afternoon event.

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