In 1975 Steve Shaffer, former Director of the Augusta Department of Public Safety, thought it would be a good idea to encourage kids to get more involved and learn about the local police department.
The first Bugs Bunny Club held on May 3, 1975 at the Augusta Theatre, got off to a rip-roaring start with almost 400 kids in attendance.
The theatre was packed with excited children who enjoyed a western movie, a cartoon, a Batman movie, appearances by the Keystone Cops, Bugs Bunny, a clown and a performance by a drum and bugle corp.
Thirty-nine years later, the local event is still going strong. Parents, who enjoyed attending when they were kids, are now bringing their own kids to watch cartoons and movies, enjoy contests, meet McGruff the Crime Fighting Dog, Smokey the Bear and of course, Bugs Bunny is still around.
Local officers take the opportunity to share fire safety with the kids and discuss other safety issues with them, as well.
The club is held from 10 a.m. to noon on 4 Saturday mornings each March at the Augusta Historical Theatre. Local citizens and businesses donate all the prizes and during the final Saturday club meeting, bicycles are given away to 10 lucky kids.
Admission is still just 25 cents. All the movies are rated G or PG.
This Saturday’s movie will be “Secret of Nimh,” on March 16th, “Little Rascals”; March 23rd, “Land Before Time”;and on March 30th, “All Dogs Go To Heaven.”
This year’s sponsors are Friends of Augusta (formerly the local Optimist Club), Augsuta Safety Department, Frank and Carol Hales, Jim Hale, Jim Baker, and Walmart of Augusta.