Carnival fundraiser a real crowd pleaser

Times Chronicle & Public Spirit - - FRONT PAGE - By Jar­reau Free­man

Fam­i­lies throughout Chel­tenham Town­ship gath­ered at Wall Park July 24 for the an­nual Play­ground Carnival hosted by the town­ship’s Sum­mer Play­ground pro­gram.

This year’s theme was “pi­rates” and coun­selors from all four play­ground camps – La Mott, Grif­fin, Ren­ninger and Wall Park – as well as town­ship staff, dis­cov­ered their in­ner pi­rate by dress­ing in fun cos­tumes.

“I love dress­ing up as a pi­rate,” said 21-year-old Lauren Duffy. “This is my sixth year as a camp coun­selor. I keep com­ing back be­cause of the kids. Some of my for­mer campers are se­niors in high school. It was cool watch­ing some of them grow up.”

The pi­rate theme could also be heard in the mu­sic. The “Pi­rates of the Caribbean” sound­track played in the back- ground as fam­i­lies en­joyed carnival games such as wa­ter pong, the base­ball throw, krazy cans and frog laun­der. The mu­sic also added ex­cite­ment for kids as they played around on the moon bounces and showed off their best pi­rate moves.

“It’s re­ally fun,” said 7-year-old Elad Sho­ham, who ran over to say a quick hello to his mom be­fore run­ning back to the moon bounce.

“We saw the ad­ver­tise­ment for the event and de­cided to stop by,” said Elad mom’s, Lisa Ney. “He’s re­ally hav­ing a great time.”

In ad­di­tion to fun games, kids en­joyed face paint­ing by Fab­u­lous Faces and the dunk tank, where the campers in at­ten­dance got the long awaited op­por­tu­nity to dunk their coun­selors.

“I love play­ing with the kids and hav­ing fun,” said 18-year-old coun­selor Lind­sey Carr.

“This event is some­thing that brings the whole community to­gether,” added fel­low coun­selor Emily Rous­sel.

Fam­i­lies also en­joyed a cook-out din­ner with hot dogs, ham­burg­ers, so­das and other treats.

“It’s fun be­ing out here and be­ing able to team up with parks and re­cre­ation,” said Com­mis­sioner An­drew Sharkey as he handed a cam­per a ham­burger. “I love be­ing out­doors and be­ing able to be with community mem­bers.”

Al­though the carnival was all fun and games, the pur­pose of the event was to raise funds for the Chel­tenham Town­ship Sum­mer Play­ground Pro­gram that many kids in the town­ship par­tic­i­pate in each year.

“It’s fun serv­ing the peo­ple in the community,” said John Hoover, the di­rec­tor of parks and re­cre­ation. “It’s what we do. We love hang­ing out with the peo­ple.”

To learn about the Sum­mer Play­ground Pro­gram visit www.chel­tenham­town­ship. org.

Wall Camp coun­selor Lind­sey Carr and cam­per Liala Bennett at the Play­ground Carnival July 24.

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