FORTY FORT — Youngsters swam, played games, listened to music and ate cake and other goodies at a Back-to-School Bash on Friday night at the Forty Fort Municipal Park and Pool.
And in an area where the mantra has become “There’s nothing here for kids to do,” parents were grateful that fun, safe activities are being made available to their children. “I think it’s great. They need to do things like this for the kids, not just in Forty Fort, but in all the towns,” said borough resident Cindy Keener.
Keener and her husband Randy brought their 6-month-old Regan and 9-year-old Andy to the dip-and-dance pool party at the bash. And they felt comfortable letting Andy attend other activities such as the movie nights earlier this summer, she said.
Andy said he hopes the event organizers will show some scary movies in the future, and not just family-friendly “kids movies” such as “Despicable Me” and “Madagascar 3” he watched earlier this year at the park. But he still has a blast attending the events with his friend Patrick Evans, also a horror movie fan.
Marina Kachinko, of Hanover Township, said the bash is a great way “to get kids involved” in the community, especially because their town doesn’t have a public pool. Her husband Bernie agreed, saying the activities also give their son Lukas an opportunity to see his classmates from Good Shepherd Academy in Kingston over the summer.
Andy Tuzinski, who with Amy Craig spearheaded the planning and execution of the activities at the park and pool this summer, noted that a woman from Dallas who attended a craft fair at the park earlier this summer returned with her son and husband for other activities.
“We have a lot of houses for sale in Forty Fort,” said Tuzinski. “Someone comes here and sees good things going on might want to move here. It can reinvigorate our community to bring in some nice families.”
D.J. Wojciechowski, a real estate agent for Prudential in Forty Fort, agreed as he sampled some of the sheet cake volunteers served up poolside. “I think it makes the community stronger, these gatherings,” Wojciechowski said. “It shows people that Forty Fort is an active community and may make people want to live here. We offer some nice events.”
Several area businesses have noticed the community efforts and made donations and offered sponsorships to support them.
More activities are in the works for September and October, said Craig, such as another craft fair from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 8. About 20 vendors have signed up so far, and there are more spaces available at $25 a pop. For more information, interested vendors can call her at 570-574-1115.
While the Back-to-School Bash was a free event, other events are fundraisers, and the money raised is put toward park and pool upkeep. The volunteers will present a $1,000 check to the borough at the 7:30 p.m. council meeting Monday night. And anyone who would like to volunteer and help plan events can attend the next volunteers meeting at 7 p.m. Sept. 2 at the park pavilion.