MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE ALBANY, Ga. -- In areas all over America there are children being celebrated for their youth, spirit and imagination. Since 2001, National Kids Day has helped communities and families come together to help celebrate the gift of spending time together.
With National Kids Day usually celebrated on the first Sunday of August, Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany celebrated in style on July 29 at Thomason Gym.
“National Kids Day is about family and quality time,” said Paula Caserio, MCLB Albany Youth and Teen Center director. “This is the third year we have held the event and the attendance rate keeps growing every year.”
Since the event is only a few years old, planning the event takes time to advertise and promote on and off base.
“We start planning the event about six months in advance with the Boys and Girls Club of America to get everything prepared for the actual event,” Caserio said. “We usually contract the vendors out about two to three months before the event.”
With various vendors around Albany attending the event, the information passed was geared to help inform parents of different things children can be involved in.
“We had the Albany Police Department Drug Unit, Outdoor Adventures, Wild Adventures, Preventative Education and Alcohol and Substance Abuse counselors, and some other vendors come out to the event,” Caserio said. “After the event was held in the gym, we had a pool party for the older kids at the base pool to help include them in the celebration.”
Policemen with the Albany Police Department set up a static display of drugs to help show parents what different drugs looked like and what kind of devices are being made with simple items found in the house to utilize the drugs.
“The drug display was very interesting,” said Staff Sgt. Derrick Washington, Financial Management Branch, Supply Chain Management Services, Logistics Command. “This was a good time for the kids to come out and see some different things and learn different stuff. To see how people made the devices for the drugs is really interesting.”
With National Kids Day being recognized as a time for families to come together and to spend meaningful time with each other, many families aboard MCLB Albany attended the event despite the state wide tax-free weekend at the surrounding shopping areas.
“I would say this year was very successful even thought it started on the tax-free weekend for back to school shopping,” Caserio said. “We try to plan more events for the children - young and old, and to give information to parents to help provide a better environment for their children, give them resources they can have or someone they can contact and have things for them to do with their children here also.”
Although National Kids Day is being celebrated nationally on Aug. 7, the event was held inside the gym due to the heat and thunderstorms usually encountered this time of year.
“The first year we held the event at Covella Pond and it was really hot outside,” Caserio said. “So we decided to bring the event indoors and the vendors and participants were relieved. But this year’s event went well and we are already looking forward to next year.”
For more information on National Kids Day, go to www.kidsday.net or call Paula Caserio at 639-7930.