News: Families make a splash at the Summer Splashdown
Story by Kristen Wong
MARINE CORPS BASE HAWAII, Kaneohe Bay — July 14 brought scorching heat to Marine Corps Base Hawaii with a slight sprinkle of rain. It was near-perfect weather for the Summer Splashdown at Riseley Field.
Nearly 500 service members, civilians and families came out for the big event, hosted by Marine Corps Community Services which included water slides, water guns, a dunk tank and more.
“It’s great that we can offer these family events to the MCB Hawaii community,” said Jeff Anderson, director, Youth Activities. “We appreciate all the families for coming out and having a good time.”
Anderson said he was also grateful to the staff at Marine and Family Programs for their support.
Among those attending were new arrivals to the islands, such as Maj. Lloyd Hager, deputy staff judge advocate, Headquarters Battalion, and his family.
“We’re new to Hawaii, so we’re excited,” Hager said.
Hager said the splashdown was a well-timed event, just a week before school started. Through events like the splashdown, he said his daughter was able to meet other children who will be going to the same school.
Children of all ages attended the event, including Cheyenne Pottinger, 2, who came with her family for her first splashdown.
“I’m glad she’s fi nally old enough to participate,” said Cheyenne’s mother, Heather.
Though Cheyenne spent some time on the smaller water slide, Heather Pottinger said her daughter also enjoyed playing with bubbles during the event.
Anna Sanchez said she and her family enjoyed the event, especially the weather. She said it was also beneficial to have an event like this because her family does not have a backyard in which to play.
“The Summer Splashdown is great fun for the kids,” said Melissa Delia, of Kaneohe. “I am loving it. I like to see (my son) having fun.”
Delia said she was originally going to the Hale Koa Hotel but heard from a friend that the Summer Splashdown was happening, and changed plans.
She felt it was a good experience for her son, while her husband is away participating in Rim of the Pacific 2012.
Other children, also attended the splashdown missing one parent due to RIMPAC 2012, like Alexis Nelson.
“I tried pretty much everything,” said the 5-year-old.
“Everything” included making a few baskets in the water slide and playing at the dunk tank.
The children seemed to enjoy themselves, like Jalei Kaheaku, 7,
and her sister, Jerzie, 3. Jalei Kaheaku said she enjoyed the small waterslide the most during the event, and even carried her sister so she could reach the basketball net in the slide.
“It’s awesome!” said Isaiah Sutherland of the splashdown.
Sutherland, who went down the biggest water slide at Riseley Field twice with his sister, said he doesn’t usually get to play in water activities. But two slides were not nearly enough to tide Sutherland over, as he excitedly spotted the slip and slide nearby.
Many of the children loved the water slides and waited patiently in line for multiple turns. Lily Sykes, 4, estimated she’d gone down the big slide at least six times and enjoyed sliding on her stomach.
Though the Splashdown was oriented toward children, adults also got in on the action. Cpl. Aaron Varner, heavy equipment mechanic, Maintenance and Service Company, Combat Logistics Battalion 3, sat above a dunk tank while children threw a ball at a target to submerge him in water.
Varner, who volunteered at other Marine Corps Community Services events such as Santa’s Village, said he had never worked in a dunk tank before this.
“This is a great opportunity for kids and parents to enjoy the great Hawaii weather,” said Fenny Evers, whose son, Reagan, competed in a water balloon tossing contest during the Splashdown.
Evers’ husband said he wanted to thank MCCS for the “fantastic job that they’re doing” with events like these.
The next big event for Youth Activities is the Harvest Fest, which
is currently scheduled for October.
For more information about Youth Activities events, call 257-2030.