News: 101 Days of Summer comes to a close
Story by Kristen Wong
MARINE CORPS BASE HAWAII - Marines and sailors hollered encouragement to each other, joked, smiled and sweated at Riseley Field, during the 101 Days of Summer Unit Challenge Field Meet, one of the four last events to finish the summer-long program, Aug. 22, 2014.
During the field meet, participants were busy with various activities. They wildly crashed into the sand to keep the volleyball off the ground, wore “drunk” goggles while clumsily wheeling around bright orange cones, and knocked each other over with colored pugil sticks.
“(Events like the 101 Days of Summer Program Field Meet/Unit Challenge) brings good unit cohesion,” said Tyler Chase, the S-6 noncommissioned officer of Marine Aircraft Group 24, and native of Ogdensburg, N.Y. “It’s nice to get away from the office for a little bit and enjoy the summer.”
Danellie Rivera, a yeoman with Special Projects Patrol Squadron 2, loves to be active and has participated in various events, including the field meet. The native of Swedesboro, N.J., said the 101 Days of Summer Program was a great way to raise money, and different from the “same old” fundraisers units regularly host, like bake sales or car washes.
She said when service members participate in events like the field meet, they can support their unit while setting the example for the younger sailors (and Marines) to participate.
“You can tell they’re having fun,” Rivera said of the junior service members. “This is a great program. I think it was very well thought out.”
Rivera added that there were various events that catered to different interests.
“If you’re not a softball player, you can run (in the races),” Rivera said. “I hope they keep doing this.”
On Saturday and Sunday, the public joined Marine Corps Base Hawaii personnel and families to race in the Keiki and Tradewind Triathlons. Finally, Aug. 27 was the 101 Days of Summer Nuupia Pond Fun Run/Walk. Units gathered near the Temporary Lodging Area for their last big summer trek across the sandy, rocky terrain along the Nuupia Ponds.
For additional program points, units ran while waving makeshift flags displaying anti-substance abuse messages.
“It has been a very successful event once again with (more than) six units very active in the program and several other units participating as well,” said Neil Morgan, health promotions coordinator with the Health Promotion Office. “Our opening event (the May Nuupia Ponds Fun Run) had nearly double the participants (than in) previous years.”
Morgan reported nearly 4,000 people participating in the program’s events and activities this year.
“Flag football, softball, basketball and soccer seemed to be tremendous events once again,” said Quentin Redmon, the drug demand reduction coordinator for the Substance Abuse Counseling Center.
Redmon said the flag football tournament in particular had a large turnout.
“(The Marines and sailors) asked if we could do more tournaments for flag football,” Redmon said. “Once again, in that aspect, it’s been a tremendous success.”
For more information about the 101 Days of Summer Program, visit www.mccshawaii.com/101days.