FORT McCOY, Wis. -- Nearly 400 youth and parents enjoyed the activities and great weather during Fort McCoy's annual Day for Kids.

The Sept. 15 event provided a day for youth and their parents to spend quality time together at the installation, said Cori Yahnke. Yahnke, who is the Fort McCoy School Age and Youth Center director, oversees the Fort McCoy Child, Youth, and School (CYS) Services Boys & Girls Club.

"This was a great day of free Family fun," Yahnke said. "There were activities for youth of all ages."

Activities were held in and around building 905. Families could visit many informational booths with hands-on activities from Army Community Service (ACS), McDonald's, Operation Military Kids/4H Club, and the Army Substance Abuse Program. No federal endorsement is implied.

The Fort McCoy Directorate of Emergency Services (DES) provided child safety seat checks during the event.

CYS Services hosted carnival-type games, including a football throw, bean-bag toss, putt-putt challenge, and bowling.

Educational opportunities abounded. ACS booths offered information about financial matters and resilience.

"The free book giveaway was a huge hit with the youth," Yahnke said. "CYS Services and Day for Kids organizers encourage Family reading time, and receiving a brand new book was a great way to get kids excited about reading."
Health and fitness, which are CYS Services focus areas, also were incorporated into the event.

The first Kid's Fun Run was held, and youth could enjoy inflatable games from KidAgain, including slam-dunk basketball, a boot-camp challenge obstacle course, and a safari zone for the younger children.

Attendees also could work off their energy at the hula-hoop and the limbo stations, she said.

Thirty-one youth raced in the inaugural Kids Fun Run, and they all were excited to participate, Yahnke said.

Youth in the 5-to-7 years old division and 8-to-9 years old division participated first and ran a 0.4-mile route, followed by youth in the 10-12 and 13-18 divisions running a 0.8-mile route.

The first three finishers in each age division won medals, and all participants received a ribbon.

"A few youth surprised their parents by how well they ran -- we may have some future track stars in the making," Yahnke said. "It was great to see the youth excited about doing something that is so good for their physical well-being, as well."

"It also was great to see the awesome sportsmanship and character shown at the event by both youth and parents," she said. "These are characteristics and Army Values we emphasize to the youth in our CHARACTER COUNTS! Program. Everyone cheered on all the runners and congratulated each youth as they crossed the finish line."

Youth and their parents took a break from the activities with a free lunch of hot dogs, chips, apples and ice cream, which was coordinated by the Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation (FMWR) Marketing Office.

Door prizes also were given away throughout the day.

"All in all, Fort McCoy Day for Kids was a huge success," Yahnke said. "Much of the success was due to the great partnerships involved in putting the event together."

CYS Services appreciated the help it received from ACS, the FMWR Marketing Office, the Army Substance Abuse Program, the DES, and the Rumpel Fitness Center staff in planning and conducting the event, Yahnke said.

CYS Services currently is offering its school-year programs, which include child care for youth ages infant to five years and an after-school program, including inclement-weather/non-school day activities, for youth who are school age.

For more information about CYS Services programs, call CYS Services at 608-388-2238/4373 or Parent Central Services at 608-388-8956.

Page last updated Mon October 1st, 2012 at 00:00