By Vickey Mouze, U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii Public AffairsJuly 26, 2010
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii - Card games, salsa dancing and rock bands were among the offerings available to Soldiers and family members at the newly remodeled Tropics Recreation Center, here, July 15-17.
Since March, Tropics had been closed as its floors and roof were being upgraded. The $500,000 stimulus-fund-renovation also included new lighting.
More than 500 community members visited the facility during the three-day celebration, and chowed down on free pizza, swayed their hips to the hula or wove ti leaf lei.
Keiki batted ping pong balls, while young adults kept the rhythmic beat to salsa music during free dance lessons.
Single Soldiers tested their skills at the billiards tables and game consoles hooked up to flat screen TVs.
Mallorina Jordan, 10, was one of the children playing ping pong. She said that everyone should learn how to play the game, because "it's fun."
Sandra Henard learned how to weave an eyelash lei from a ti leaf. "I love this," she said, as she watched instructor Ululani Duncan demonstrate the technique.
The celebratory bash ended late Friday with live rock bands and "Comics On Duty."
"Tropics is a 'one-stop shop,'" said McKenna Elder, Tropics acting manager. "We have everything to help the military community relax after a hard day's work. Our staff takes pride in creating a facility equipped to help Soldiers enjoy their leisure time, and thereby boosting morale and decreasing stress."
The Tropics staff also works closely with the Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers, or BOSS, program, and while Tropics is primarily for single Soldiers, families are invited to the facility every first and third Friday of the month, during Family Fun Fridays, said Elder.
Other Tropics offerings include a snack bar and a barbershop.
Special events packages, such as unit parties, programs and promotions, are also available.
See lots more photos on Flickr.
Where: Tropics is located at Building 589, Foote Ave., Schofield Barracks.
Hours: Monday-Friday, 8 a.m-10 p.m.; Saturdays, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; closed on Sundays. Snack Bar is open 11 a.m.-7 p.m., with coffee available at 8 a.m.