Ascension Parish President Tommy Martinez proclaimed March as “National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month in Ascension Parish.”

Martinez made the proclamation during the Feb. 18 parish council meeting and presented the document to Cheryl Rice, supported employment coordinator with Community Opportunities — The ARC of East Ascension.

Rice said her agency is holding several events throughout the month.

“March is our signature month with National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month and we try our best to make sure our community is aware of what we do and that our community is aware of what services we offer and how to make contact for those services,” Rice said.

Rice said along with the agency’s annual “March Awareness Family Fun Day 2013” to be held March 23, the ARC of East Ascension has also added two other events during March.

The “National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month” kick-off event will be at 11:30 a.m. Friday on the grounds of the center’s respite center, 1212 Purpera Road.

Rice said a hot air balloon will lift off to signify the start of the month’s festivities.

The agency’s second Community Job and Education Fair is set for 9 a.m. March 21 at the Gonzales Civic Center, 219 S. Irma Blvd.

Rice said the fair will be free to the public and will include education and business vendors.

“We’re hoping to have 35 to 40 organizations and businesses participating this year,” Rice said.

The March events will culminate with “March Awareness Family Fun Day 2013” on March 23 at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 230 S. Irma Blvd. Gonzales, Rice said. The event will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and include food, games, music, entertainment and awareness activities.