A Hawaiian dancer performs a traditional Hawaiian dance at Smith Gym on Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall April 21. She is a member of Halau O 'Aulani, a native Hawaiian School in Arlington.

In honor of the Month of the Military Child, MCCS Henderson Hall's Children Youth and Teen Program held its 5th annual Children's Fair at Smith Gym on Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall April 21. The annual event offered servicemembers and their Families an opportunity to gather for fun activities while honoring military children.

"The fair is a great place for the kids to explore and have fun. Even though we serve, military Families serve too," said fair participant Lt. Cmdr. Sergio Chavez.

The fair featured a Hawaiian theme, transforming the gym into a tropical island paradise with palm trees, parrots, flowers and leis. There were traditional Hawaiian dance performances by Halau O 'Aulani, a native Hawaiian School in Arlington, which included a dance lesson for children.

Outside sat a red fire truck where JBM-HH Emergency Services firefighters invited the children and parents to sit in the truck. Firefighters Capt. John Pine, Cory Drake, Jason Humphreys, and Al Parise answered questions and handed out toy fire helmets and coloring books.

Inside, the gym teemed with activity, children laughing, running with shouts of glee. Kids jumped in the bounce house, played carnival games, ate snow-cones and popcorn and participated in craft projects. At the racquetball courts, tennis lessons were given, instructing kids how to stand, hold the racket and hit the ball.

"Tennis lessons are my favorite thing to do here," said Joel Soto-Rodriguez, 10.

Children and their parents lined up waiting to reel in a prize at the "fishpond" or try their skill at the cup toss and sat as they had their faces painted.

Various information tables included members of the JBM-HH police department training section providing free Drug Abuse Resistance Education child identification kits to parents.

"The kits are used to identify a lost or missing child," said Lt. Laura Moore, JBM-HH Police Dept. training officer. "Parents are asked to fill out the brochure with descriptive information of their child, such as height, weight and medical conditions."

Moore took a Polaroid photograph and finger prints of Bryant Rhodes, 1, for his identification kit, as his mother Cpl. Taytra Rhodes, supply fiscal chief, held him.

"I had this done as a precautionary measure because you never know what may happen," said Rhodes. "I think it is great the service is here -- it's convenient, and I don't have to go to a police station or fire department to have it done."

"I think the Children's Fair is a great program with excellent activities," said Marine Sgt. Cedric Reed, who attended the fair with his son Camerin. "It gives me a chance to spend time with my son; he's a year old now. We'll definitely be back next year."

Page last updated Thu April 26th, 2012 at 00:00