229th Military Intelligence Battalion holds family fun festival
September 16, 2011
PRESIDIO OF MONTEREY, Calif. - Members of the 229th Military Intelligence Battalion Family Readiness Group hosted their first family fun festival at La Mesa Community Center Aug. 20.
The fun-filled, pie-themed event was the brainchild of Mecha Hutchinson, Company A, 229th MI Battalion, FRG leader and POM Mayoral coordinator.
Hutchinson said she thought the festival-type fundraiser would be a good way to raise money for the upcoming spouse's dining-in event in October.
"After a couple committee meetings and briefing the 229th command and staff," she said, "everyone was 'OK, let's do it.'"
"We have face painting, the Delta Circus, an emergency-preparedness booth, the outdoor barbeque, a vendor fair happening inside the community center, pie walk, pie sales and pie throwing," Hutchinson stated. "Everyone is gonna have a blast."
"We are here to support FRG and the families and get everyone in the 229th together," said Lt. Russ Cuajnco, Company D, 229th MI Battalion executive officer. "We don't usually get these fun-filled days with our busy language-learning schedule, and it's good to cool down, step back and do something where it is all about the families."
Cuajnco and other 229th Battalion leaders did more than just attend the festival; they were part of the attraction as attendees were able to purchase tickets for the chance to throw pies at their favorite company commanders, executive officers and first sergeants.
"It was great getting a pie in the face," said Cuajnco. "It went up my nose a bit, but that's OK. It's all for the kids and fun."
Pfc. Spencer Sample, Company C, 229th MI Battalion, brought his wife to the event and took advantage of the opportunity to throw a pie at his first sergeant.
"I hit him and it felt good … real good," exclaimed Sample. "But there are no bad feelings. It's more for fun than anything else."
Command Sgt. Maj. Pedro Ayala, the 229th MI Battalion's command sergeant major, proved to be a popular target for pie throwers.
"I lost count of the pies after about seven," Ayala said. "And I think there (are) still a couple more coming."
"These extra-curricular activities play an important role in the military lifestyle, that's why we do these events," explained Ayala. "It gives the Soldiers a little off-time to get away from studies and just relax, to bring your family out here and do some morale and esprit de corps building."
Hutchinson said he hopes to turn this event into an annual family celebration for the 229th MI Battalion, an idea that was supported by Ayala.
"Definitely need to keep this going next year," said Ayala. "It only adds the experience here in Monterey. It's a great event, a great time to be out here with your families and getting a pie in the face."
The 229th FRG raised more than $1,200 from the event.