Published Date Written by Noelle Barrett
In a last hoorah before the start of school on Monday Aug. 25, parents and children were all smiles during the first-ever Lower Dauphin Falcon Family Fun Day on Saturday, Aug. 17 at Hummelstown’s Schaffner Park.
A crowd enjoying the final days of summer by enjoying a variety of activities such as face painting and a bouncey house. The event, staged by the Lower Dauphin Falcon Foundation, was a celebration before the school year begins.
“It’s been a vision through the foundation to have a celebration to the end of summer and welcome the students back,” said Sherri Smith, Superintendent of the Lower Dauphin School District. “It’s really just a day to celebrate being a part of Lower Dauphin.”
There were plenty of people on hand to celebrate – children and families, district staff, volunteers and community members, and even high school students.
A group of high school students helped elementary student Skyler Yinger and his brother Tristan lift a parachute over their heads, then watched the two boys run underneath. The boys’ smiles and giggles – the reaction from many children as they played with the older students – made the event worthwhile.
“That’s the best part. Honestly, our little ones really look up to the high schoolers,” Smith said. “What great role models they are to them.”
Many children spent the afternoon running to each activity – a giant ball game, football throwing, the parachute, and more.
Second-grader Ricky Verma took a break from the gym class games to create a piece of spin art.
“He’s really been enjoying the day and just running around,” said his father, Rakesh. “I think this is just really great for the kids.”
There were a lot of laughs as Magician Nick performed his show, and a lot of gasps as fire eater and breather Mark Schwentker, a Lower Dauphin graduate, demonstrated his skill. After eating a few flames, Schwentker created giant flame clouds by propelling fuel from his mouth while holding a flame inches away.
As children and parents stood behind a white rope, they could feel the heat on their faces.
Schwentker’s favorite part is the reaction from the crowd, and he was happy to bring a little joy to the students before the start of the year.
“The start of the school year is exciting, but also scary,” said Schwentker, member of Lower Dauphin’s Class of 1991. “It’s a good opportunity to get everyone together from all of the elementary schools.”