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Youth center parties Mardi Gras style

By Cpl. Giovanni Lobello | | February 23, 2006

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The station’s youth center opened its doors to station children of all ages to celebrate with a Mardi-Gras-themed party Feb. 18.

The party is done annually in order to give children an idea of what the real Mardi Gras celebration is like.

“This is one of the children’s favorite events,” said Pat Carson, youth director. “This year, we were a little behind schedule because we made bouquets for Valentines Day. But once we finished with the bouquets, the children were already asking, ‘What can we do to help?’”

To enter the Mardi Gras, children paid $3 per person. As part of the entrance fee, the children received        500 Mardi Gras bucks and a Mardi Gras cup. With that money, children could play games and purchase food, such as nachos, popcorn and hot dogs.

“The kids can also take the Mardi Gras money to play games, which cost about 100 bucks per game,” said Carson. “But at those games the children have the opportunity to double and even triple their money. Then whenever the children feel like it, they can go into the gym and trade in their Mardi Gras bucks for prizes.”

The 13 games offered included hole in one, balloon pop, beanbag toss and tattoo parlor.

“This year, we had more man-made games than in the past,” said Melissa Giboyeaux, program technician. “Each teacher was assigned to come up with one game for the party. This was by  far the best Mardi Gras yet -- in total almost one hundred people attended. In the old building, we had to have everything confined to just one room. Here, we were able to divide everything into different rooms of the Youth Center.”

The Mardi Gras attendees also had opportunities to win raffle prizes throughout the night. The prizes included a soccer or football chair or a stuffed animal.

Even though the party was designed for the station’s children, parents were still encouraged to attend.

“We also recommend parents come out and spend time with their children here,” said Carson. “There are chaperones here looking after the children, so the parents can just come, sit back, and let their children run loose and have fun.”

“We just wanted to go out as a family and do something together,” said  Master Sgt. Steve Zachmann, communications chief, Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron 1. “(Marine Corps Community Services) does a lot of fun stuff for the family, which is pretty neat. There were many game variations for the children to play with. The different games also varied for the different age groups.”

Children of all ages seemed to enjoy both the food and fun provided by the youth center at the Mardi Gras party.

“I thought the food was really good here,” said Taylor Bergan, 11, Mardi Gras attendee. “I also liked the games. They were a lot of fun. I won so much money that I don’t even know how much it is. The hole-in-one was my favorite game because I got the most money there. I was very (excited) about the party because last year my friend told me how much fun it was, and he was right. It was a lot of fun. I would like to attend again next year if they put it on again. The party was well done the way it is and I don’t think they have to change anything.”



The station’s youth center opened its doors to station children of all ages to celebrate with a Mardi-Gras-themed party Feb. 18.

The party is done annually in order to give children an idea of what the real Mardi Gras celebration is like.

“This is one of the children’s favorite events,” said Pat Carson, youth director. “This year, we were a little behind schedule because we made bouquets for Valentines Day. But once we finished with the bouquets, the children were already asking, ‘What can we do to help?’”

To enter the Mardi Gras, children paid $3 per person. As part of the entrance fee, the children received        500 Mardi Gras bucks and a Mardi Gras cup. With that money, children could play games and purchase food, such as nachos, popcorn and hot dogs.

“The kids can also take the Mardi Gras money to play  games, which cost about 100 bucks per game,” said Carson. “But at those games the children have the opportunity to double and even triple their money. Then whenever the children feel like it, they can go into the gym and trade in their Mardi Gras bucks for prizes.”

The 13 games offered included hole in one, balloon pop, beanbag toss and tattoo parlor.

“This year, we had more man-made games than in the past,” said Melissa Giboyeaux, program technician. “Each teacher was assigned to come up with one game for the party. This was by  far the best Mardi Gras yet -- in total almost one hundred people attended. In the old building, we had to have everything confined to just one room. Here, we were able to divide everything into different rooms of the Youth Center.”

The Mardi Gras attendees also had opportunities to win raffle prizes throughout the night. The prizes included a soccer or football chair or a stuffed animal.

Even though the party was designed for the station’s children, parents were still encouraged to attend.

“We also recommend parents come out and spend time with their children here,” said Carson. “There are chaperones here looking after the children, so the parents can just come, sit back, and let their children run loose and have fun.”

“We just wanted to go out as a family and do something together,” said  Master Sgt. Steve Zachmann, communications chief, Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron 1. “(Marine Corps Community Services) does a lot of fun stuff for the family, which is pretty neat. There were many game variations for the children to play with. The different games also varied for the different age groups.”

Children of all ages seemed to enjoy both the food and fun provided by the youth center at the Mardi Gras party.

“I thought the food was really good here,” said Taylor Bergan, 11, Mardi Gras attendee. “I also liked the games. They were a lot of fun. I won so much money that I don’t even know how much it is. The hole-in-one was my favorite game because I got the most money there. I was very (excited) about the party because last year my friend told me how much fun it was, and he was right. It was a lot of fun. I would like to attend again next year if they put it on again. The party was well done the way it is and I don’t think they have to change anything.”
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