Christopher Burnett | Staff Writer
April is the Month of the Military Child, and as part of a month-long series of events, the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation combined PAIR Day with the Children’s Festival at the Harney Sports Complex April 8.
Post Activities, Information, and Registration Day’s primary purpose is to allow groups and organizations from Fort Leavenworth and the surrounding communities to showcase their goods and services to eligible patrons.
In addition to the business vendors who participated at PAIR Day, KC Lowery said her company, KC Contractors, provided many attractions for families and children.
“We bring all of the various life-size costumed characters, balloon artists, inflatables among other fun activities,” Lowery said. “The company has made a profound commitment to serving the military community at Fort Leavenworth.”
Command and General Staff College student Malaysian Army Maj. Nur Fahmi Bassar came to the event with his wife and two children. He said it was great family fun.
“I’ve been here since June 2016 and I graduate soon. We have enjoyed our time here. The weather today is fantastic for this event,” Bassar said. “We love the Kids’ Fest because there are many things to do. My kids liked the costumed characters best. Ironman was their favorite.”
Maj. Michael Smallwood, CGSC student, attended with his wife, Jacquelynne, and their children. He said the diversity of activities was an enjoyable aspect of the event.
“There were vendors here on the PAIR Day side representing useful resources for families,” Smallwood said. “We signed up for the Disney vacations, got the latest information about FMWR, and our children had lots of fun at Kids’ Fest.”
Another CGSC student, Maj. Rich Demarais attnded the event with wife, Chelle, who is an Army Community Service civilian employee, and their 3-year-old son, Dominic. He said the diverse range of activities covering various age groups was a highlight for them.
“We had an excellent time,” Demarais said. “There were lots of activities and a wide variety of useful information available for families here.”
The Demarais family said they participated in most of the available attractions. Dominic said it was fun.
“I rode the horses,” Dominic said. “My favorite thing was the horses.”
Adrea Butler, a permanent party spouse, has been a member of the community for 10 months. She brought her three daughters.
“We loved it because there were lots of things for the kids to do,” Butler said. “Everything was fun — face painting, photo opportunities with the costumed characters and much more.”
Members of Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers assisted with the setup and striking of the event.
Page 2 of 2 - “The BOSS members helped with tasks related to setting up here this morning, traveled to a Ronald McDonald House in Topeka (Kan.) to do volunteer work, and returned to the site at Harney to help break down after the event,” said BOSS President Spc. Stephanie Jackson. “We have eight soldiers from various units out volunteering with BOSS today.”
Parent and Outreach Services Director Chris Wecas was in charge of organizing and setting up the Children’s Fest portion of the event this year. She said combining it with PAIR Day has worked well.
“We found many of the same vendors supported both events. Combining both events was cost effective, and also results in a bigger and better overall experience for the community,” Wecas said.