Event puts 'fun' in fundraiser
By RANDY GONZALES
Smoky Hills Public Television played host to the second annual Family Fun Day on Saturday at The Mall at Hays, 2918 Vine.
They wanted something that would be both fun and a fundraiser.
More than 1,000 parents and kids attended last year's inaugural event, which featured Thomas the Train.
Saturday morning, kids were lining up to get their pictures taken with characters such as Curious George, Clifford the Big Red Dog and Sid the Science Kid.
Christen Spinelli, Ellis, was there with her nephew, Noah, 2. He had his picture taken while giving a big hug to Curious George, and another photo taken while sitting in his lap.
"He loves Curious George," Spinelli said. "We're having a lot of fun; Noah loves it."
For $10 admission, each person received 10 tickets to play games, and could purchase more tickets.
The games included Elmo's Tic-Tac-Toe; Ernie's Rubber Duckie Pond; Oscar's Garbage Can Knockdown; Thomas and Friends Hole-in-One; and Curious George Ring Toss.
Sternberg Museum of Natural History also was there with live snakes for kids to touch, and Bumpy Knuckles the Clown was there to make balloon animals. Daniel Tiger, one of PBS' newest characters, also was in attendance.
"We just wanted an event that was a fundraiser for us, but yet families could come out, have a little fun," said Smoky Hills General Manager Michael Quade. "It went over very well last year."
Special Projects Coordinator Tricia Flax said it was a group effort to come up with the idea for the event last year.
"It was exciting; people loved it," she said. "We had to come back again.
"The kids recognize all the PBS characters. Who doesn't remember Clifford from when they were a little kid? And now, their kids are coming. They get to see the characters live and in person; they really like that."
Augustine Obour, and his son, Bryan, 3, were having a good time going from station to station, playing different games and meeting the PBS characters.
It was bonding time with his son, said Obour, who added he doesn't get much of a chance to spend time with him during the week due to his work schedule.
"For me, personally, it's a way for me to hang out with my son," Obour said. "There's a lot of things going on, so we'll do all of them, I guess."
Amanda Werth, who was there with her kids Sadie, 4, and Connor, 2, enjoyed the atmosphere.
"It's a lot of fun; the characters, the games," she said. "It's very kid-friendly."