It’s been too long since I felt the thrill of being a kid filled with enthusiasm, joy, laughter and the fun of hanging out with my friends.
So I did it Friday!
Friday Night Skate at the Key Peninsula Civic Center is a tsunami of happy faces roller skating to great DJ music pitched to the tenor of the event, skateless game racing in the gym, board and electronic game playing in the Whitmore Room. It’s for kids in kindergarten through eighth grade amongst whom high school volunteer referees painlessly ensure order to the delight of all.
I’ve never heard a mean voice or word, never seen any kind of altercation. It’s what life for kids should be: safe, clean, exciting, friendly — joy!
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Deftly managed by Kip Miller, kids keep moving, never bored. His son, Bryce, is DJ and plays what kids want to hear. Need a snack? The kitchen, under Jennifer Miller, offers reasonably priced smoothies, pizza, hot food, nachos, cheese, etc. to slake food yearnings. She’s assisted by Peninsula High freshman Leyla Vanderbank and junior Alina Barzetti.
Vaughn fifth-grader Nevlaeh Christensen declared: “I love this place because my friends skate, talk, and play games together.”
Her classmate, Makenzi Carter, attends “to hang out with my friends because they are awesome,” and fourth-grader Maddie Walsh also is here “to hang out with friends because they’re fun and cool.”
KPMS sixth-graders Cheyanne Reed, McKayla Nichols and Nemaway Dalton “hang out at the funnest place on earth, Skate Night!”
Cedar Height Junior High’s Isaac Lystad volunteers “to watch the kids in the Whitmore (game) room.
Peninsula High freshman Ashley Jones volunteers because she loves “to hang out with kids and they make me laugh. I dance and work on the skate floor.”
PHS junior Kaelin Krieger works the hallways and “corrects children from running and doing things that aren’t allowed.” Kaelin comes because she enjoys “seeing kids enjoy what they are doing here.” Henderson Bay High junior Brandon Williams works “the halls and sometimes skates to make sure kids are not getting into trouble or getting hurt.” Brandon comes because he “enjoys the people around me. It just feels right.”
KPMS sixth-graders Cierra Clapp, Samantha Haufle and Sierra Schurosky “are doing social interaction to be amazing friends.”
Classmate Nicholas Colt is “here to have fun and hangout with all my friends,” as is seventh-grader Kaitlyn Adams and sixth-grader Nicholas Colt.
All eighth-grader Eddy Frederick wants is “to have fun, skate and have a great time with friends because that’s what this place is all about.”
PHS freshman Bryce Miller has been coming to Skate Night since he was very little, and now he’s the DJ.
“I love to listen to music and to play with the songs,” he said. “I love to make people happy and have fun at Skate Night. I like to give back to the community. It’s a very fun place to work and have fun.”
Grandma Evelyn Davis has accompanied her Eagle Elementary grandchildren and cousins to Skate Night three times so far this year, “Because it’s lots of fun.”
“I love to bring (Evergreen Elementary first-grader Adelynn Lang) to Skate Night because it’s a great time for her to spend time with friends and to make more,” said her mom. “It gives them great opportunity to let out some energy on Friday night. Besides, the nachos are cheap and amazing.”
And there you have it!
Questions? Call the KP Civic Center at 253-884-3456.
Hugh McMillan is a longtime contributing writer for the Gateway. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.