Everyone's a kid at Fort Bragg's Armed Services YMCA fair
April 15, 2011
FORT BRAGG, N.C. - Cloudy weather didn't damper the spirits of military Families during the 11th annual Armed Services YMCA's Healthy Kids Day on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
About 1800 children, young and old, could choose from physical recreation like jumping around in a bouncer, throwing frisbees, basketballs and baseballs and crawling through a smoke-filled trailer.
Other activities included building cars and birdhouses with the help of Home Depot employees, having one's face painted or making colorful chalk drawings.
"The biggest draw though, is always tye-dying and the Snake Man (Jake Martin,)" said Lynne Grates, Fort Bragg ASYMCA director. "The kids absolutely love the snakes but they're not a favorite with the parents."
Sergeant Richard and Rachel Murphy said they enjoyed bringing their daughter, Alanna, 2, to the fair. Murphy is with the 2nd Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division.
Trinity, 4, daughter of Leslie and Capt. Wes Wilson, 7th Special Forces Group, was enjoying blowing bubbles at one of the activity stations. Wilson is currently deployed to Afghanistan.
Spc. Joshua Harper, 7th Special Forces Group Support Company, along with his wife, Jenny, daughter Erica Green, 6, and son, Jacquez, 3, enjoyed showing off their pitching skills. "We all had a good time," said Harper.
Many Fort Bragg and Cumberland County area agencies and businesses had booths and information available for fairgoers. The Fort Bragg Fire Department's Fire Prevention and Inspections Branch had a firetruck for children to explore and a 'smoke' trailer that teaches children how to escape a smoke-filled house to safety. The Youn Wha Ryu instructors showed potential karate kids how to kick and strike. Other exhibitors included Camp Rockfish, Fort Bragg Provost Marshal Police Department.
Grates said this was all possible through the different agencies that participated, volunteers and the help of Deborah Hall, Fort Bragg ASYMCA program director. "(She) has been planning the event for the last five years and does a tremendous job coordinating with the agencies and volunteers," Grates said.