Last days of summer

Children raced up a hill to check out two buckets of water ballons.

Smiles spread across their faces and laughter filled the air as the youth play a water game on a 90-degree day Saturday at Valley View Apartments — celebration at the final days of summer break before classes start today.

“We do backpacks and fill them with schools supplies and give them away before they go back to school,” event organizer Rhonda Kohler said during a break between a number of activities. “We just want the kids to have a good time before they go back to school.”

Kohler said she believed she reached her goal as she watches children run from one activity to another with screams of joy and sounds of giggles. The second-ever Back to School Bash had a carnival theme.

Approximately 30 children of various ages joined in the activities. They ranged from taking advantage of a bouncy house, a donation by a friend, Phillip Lawson, with BOOYA Inflatibles on the Go, to sno-cones, cotton candy and bags of popcorn to enjoy.

The 3 1/2-hour event was primarily for the children of the apartment complex but each child was permitted to bring a friend, which swelled the number of people in attendance.

Assistance from a number of people and businesses, the organizers  were able to provide door prizes of gifts of ice cream and other treats, from pizza to video rentals. The businesses included Max’s Dairy Bar, Wendy’s, Taco Bell, McDonald’s, Captain D’s, Family Video, Lee’s Famous Recipe Chicken and Padrone’s.

With the sun sending the temperature into the 90s, the children and their parents enjoyed a series of water games including catching water balloons on their head with a helmet containing a couple of screws. They held the helmet upside down on their heads. The helmet was filled with holes so when the balloon landed in the helmet, the balloon would burst on the screws and water would stream down their faces.

They played other water games and sporting events during the day.

Kohler, who noted it takes approximately five months to organize and to solicit donations from area businesses, said the event is worth the work. She has to gain permission from Valley View Manager Melinda Slife. Kohler also recognized Gorsuch Management and George Klima.

“I just do it to let them have fun one last day before school starts,” Kohler said. “It is great to hear them enjoying themselves.”