Skate Night at Key Peninsula Civic Center resumed Sept. 11. It was such an exciting, fun-filled explosion of good, clean fun and games for kids from kindergarten through eighth grade that I just had to have a second look. I did last Friday. About 130 kids looking like a cast of thousands bubbled with wholesome, enthusiastic, unbridled camaraderie and joy.
Peninsula High students wearing NFL-like referee shirts skated with the youngsters in a wholly non-intimidating manner, and were looked up to by their younger charges who, every now and then, were happy to have their help getting back up on skates after minor tumbles.
Among volunteer PHS referees, juniors Nathaniel Insley and Brandon Williams helped more than one skater up after a fall at last Friday’s event.
Kip Miller, the new Skate Night manager/program director, brings new exciting ideas with lots of activities to help the event grow. To Miller, “it’s a safe, fun place for kids and families of all ages.”
It’s packed with lots of fun activities including a live DJ, skating, dancing and games on the skate floor such as Alligator Tag, Musical Dot, Red Light Green Light, four corners, races and more.
“Our concession offers hot food, smoothies, soft drinks, candy and more,” Miller said. “All proceeds go to support the KPCC and activities like the Skate Night program.”
Rachael Mack-Ward thought, “It was awesome and I hope to come back again.” Her pal, Jenea, said, “I thought it was really fun.”
“It is fun,” an unnamed participant said. “I already knew because my brother’s girlfriend Breanna told me, and I’m having a great time. It’s worth the half-hour drive.”
“I think it’s awesome,” said student Kaylee. “It’s fun and I think they shouldn’t have to change it.”
“We take our niece and nephew every Friday night,” said Tony Roorda. “It’s a blast and all the kids have a lot of fun skating and playing games. The staff puts in a lot of energy to assure a night of enjoyment for the whole family.”
KPMS seventh-graders Kody Schwab and Conner Michaelson think Skate Night “makes the funnest day of the week.”
Makayla Percy has been going to Skate Night since she was in kindergarten. Now a seventh-grader, she doesn’t skate as much because she loves hanging out with her friends.
“Skate Night only lets you in if you are in eighth grade or younger, and they make sure you don’t leave the building without your parents,” she said. “It’s a very safe place to be. Younger kids and some older kids love the game room and its Minnie basketball game and video games. I’m always on my best behavior so my mom will let me go to Skate Night — it means a lot to me.”
“To keep going,” Miller said, “we need volunteers to help kids put on skates, help with games, watch that kids are safe and help clean up at the end of the night. We need donations of skates and games. High school volunteers earn community service hours to graduate and have a ball doing so. Skate Night runs every Friday from 6 to 9 p.m. all school year. We’ll be adding a second session from 9 to 10:30 p.m. that will offer glow-in-the-dark dodgeball with music and a live DJ.”
Parents skate free; if you’re looking for a fun thing to do on Fridays.
It’s at Key Peninsula Civic Center, 17010 South Vaughn Road KPN, Vaughn.
Hugh McMillan is a longtime freelance writer for the Gateway. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.