Purple Up! The Eagle River Boys & Girls Club celebrated Month of the Military Child on Thursday, April 26th.
Community organizations gathered together to show their support for the 1st Annual Eagle River Boys & Girls Club Purple Up Day. The event began the celebration with the Eagle River AFJROTC Color Guard. All of the youth and guests stood proudly with their hand over their hearts and sang the National Anthem.
“The community really came together to help up honor those youth who overcome extenuating circumstances almost daily, “ According to Tracey Hupe, Boys & Girls Club Manager. “These youth, along with their families, pack up all of their belongings, say good-bye to their friends and move to a new duty station, sometimes every four years.” Hupe added.
Eagle River Elk’s Lodge #2682, Exalted Ruler, Ted Raven Palmer and Candy Palmer sponsored the afterschool snacks for this special event, accommodation over 80 youth. The Sleeping Lady Mountain Lions, Bonnie Leonhard and Sonia Vance, ensured youth, parents, visitors and guests were served the celebratory snack and sponsored the t-shirt for the event allowing every youth to receive a purple shirt.
PFD Otter and retired Coast Guard Chief, Darrin Kerschner spoke to the youth about the “Kids Don’t Float” campaign. “This was a great event for PFD Otter and the Coast Guard Auxiliary to share boating and water safety tips with the kids,” said, Darrin Kerschner. A special visit from Lt. Gaenzole, U.S. Coast Guard rescue pilot answered any and all questions the youth asked.
Thirty-One representatives, Carly and Mary Meacham sponsored a sleek purple cinch bag for each youth whose parent are currently serving in the military. Over 40 of these bags were distributed. “These bags will be a great way for the youth this summer to store their swimming gear on our weekly field trip to Chugiak Swimming Pool,” commented Hupe.
radKids located at the Alaska Moving Arts Center shared stories and opportunities for youth safety program, including internet safety, bullying prevention throughout the year. radKids will be offering this a short summer safety program on June 7th at the Eagle River Boys & Girls Club.
Other amazing sponsors and guest for this event were The Alaska Centennial Veterans Lions Club, Chugiak High School NJROTC, Safety Mike Education and the Eagle River Boys & Girls Club Parent Advisory Board.
Month of Military Kids is a day for communities to wear purple, to show support and to thank military children for their strength and sacrifices. The color Purple indicates that all branches of the military are supported; Air Force blue, Army green, Navy blue, Marine red, and Coast Guard blue all thought to combine together as a single color, purple.
For more information on the Eagle River Boys & Girls Club summer program call Tracey Hupe at 907-694-5437.