WARNER ROBINS -- Alando Bray enjoyed the warm temperatures, sunny sky and easy breeze that blew across Tanner Park on Saturday.
He and his wife, Kesha, were there with their three children for the first International City Family Fun Day. The Warner Robins Recreation Department sponsored the event to encourage family fun and a healthy lifestyle.
Getting out and enjoying one of our parks is a cost-effective way to be with your family and have a good time, said Ruby Hamb-Holmes, programs director at the Recreation Department. Our focus is health and healthy living, and theres nothing better on a nice day like today than getting out for some causal play, sports and just being with your family and friends.
Though Hamb-Holmes said she could have hoped for a larger turnout, she said she couldnt have hoped for better participation.
Honestly, the numbers were good, but what really impressed me was how everybody got right up and got involved with the different activities, she said.
Those activities ranged from bounce castles to pick-up football games and bean bag tosses to a variety of races. There was even an opportunity for tug-of-war matches, with one special challenge pitting Recreation Department workers against other city employees.
The other employees team, led by Mayor Randy Toms and several city councilmen, was soundly defeated by the rec team. But Toms said the day wasnt a loss at all.
Im just so excited about seeing everybody out having a good time, he said. Its so enjoyable seeing how our city workers came together to make this day possible and how the recreation staff is doing such an excellent job with it. You hear people say theres nothing to do in Warner Robins, but its a beautiful day, and theres plenty of fun things to do out here at Tanner Park.
As for the Brays, Alando Bray is a good representative of what Hamb-Holmes said the day was all about.
We go to the park a lot anyway, he said while holding an umbrella to give his wife some shade. The way I see it, its important to get out together as a family and be active instead of sitting in front of a computer game or something all the time. Parents have to lead by example and stay active themselves and help their kids have fun. Our kids dont really know what to do to be healthy and active these days; we have to lead by example.
The Bray youngsters didnt care so much about their dads philosophizing. They were too busy running around having fun.
Aside from diaper derbies, tot trots for toddlers, three-legged races for families and friends, senior strolls for older participants and a wide variety of physical activities, the day also offered an array of demonstrations and displays from organizations and causes like Babies Cant Wait, Boys and Girls Clubs, First Choice Primary Care, Houston Healthcare, Vincents Okinawa Karate, Warner Robins Young Marines, Crossfit City of Athletes and a dozen or so more, all of which helped promote the idea of getting and staying healthy.
Hamb-Holmes said plans are already underway for next years International City Family Fun Day, which will take the place of the Recreation Departments former Easter in the Park egg hunt.
She said the new event adds some twists and offers more for family members young and old to do as well as allows a focus on getting and staying active for a healthier life.
Contact Michael W. Pannell at firstname.lastname@example.org.