MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE ALBANY, Ga -- Military children of all ages were the center of attention April 15 when Marine Corp Logistics Base Albany hosted its annual Month of the Military Child celebration.
Children of the Child Development Center, Youth and Teen Center and Play Morning, and their families joined Lee County's Navy, Worth County's Army, and Dougherty County's Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps.
Other organizations participating in the celebration included: the MCLB Fire Department, Young Marines, Single Marines Program and Albany Marine Band.
The parade began at the CDC building and ended at Covella Pond.
According to T. Lynn Willis, director, Marine Corps Family Team Building, the celebration has been organized here for 15 years.
"This celebration has grown every year because the Advisory Board looks at past years and makes improvements," Willis said. "The support from the base has also grown, helping this event become what it is today."
Willis went on to say that this month is designated to celebrating military children because of the appreciation the Marine Corps has for the children themselves.
"Military children contribute a lot by being family members of active duty servicemembers," Willis said. "It means transferring every two to three years, changing schools and making new friends. It's a month to recognize and honor our children for their contribution to the Marine Corps."
The second part of the celebration was a festival, where organizations from on and off base set up booths to entertain children and adults.
The organizations that took part in the festival included: the Youth and Teen Center; Women's, Infants and Children, Branch Medical Clinic; Marine and Family Services; Outdoor Adventures; Thronateeska Heritage Center; American Lung Association; YMCA; Information, Tickets and Tours; Humane Society; Enlisted Wives Club; Key Volunteer Network; and Johnny Carino's restaurant.
There was also an Indian exhibit, a Recreation Issue display, military static display, dunking booth, "Bounce Houses" and pony rides for the children to enjoy.
Live entertainment was also provided. The Albany Marine Band performed; the Fire Department put on a puppet show; Jackie Clark, CDC worker, held a sing-a-long with the pre-kindergarten students; and the Provost Marshal's Office put on a Military Working Dog demonstration.
Winners of the second annual Push/Pull were judged by Col. Joseph Wingard, Maj. Brian Jackson, Master Gunnery Sgt. Reginald Fluellen and Sandra Richards. The winners were later announced during the festival.
According to Maj. Wendy Goyette, chairperson, Youth and Teen Advisory Committee, the Pull/Push contest was a much bigger success this year. Last year, only two or three people entered the contest. This year, 16 people entered.
Willis and Goyette both agreed the event's success was because of the abundance of support received from throughout the base.
"We got exceptional support from everybody on base," Goyette said. "It was a base-wide effort, and we appreciate everyone's support."