Roaring Youth Jam

   I want to thank the Idaho Falls Arts Council for letting me have a booth at the Roaring Youth Jam. Their policy is that any Non-Profit organization can have a booth there for free. The only requirement is that you have something free for the kids to do. So, here is the test. Can anyone guess what game I took down for the kids to play? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller? If you guessed Mini-Golf, you’re a winner! I’m not sure what you win, but you win just the same!

   This was the first time I had attended this event, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. The event ran from 10:00AM to 4:00PM Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. I got my booth set up early Thursday morning and was ready for the kids. It started off kind of slow, but by 11;00AM, there was a lot of families stopping by wanting to try Mini-Golf. I told the parents it was for kids of all ages, so I had kids, parents, and grandparents all playing the game. It was so much fun watching the little kids trying to hit the ball, and their older siblings or parents helping them.

   I had a sign stating there was a free prize (A Tootsie Roll Pop) for a Hole-In-One. It also said three tries per contestant. I had several kids want to try again, and I told them they could try as many times as they wanted to, providing there wasn’t somebody in line that hadn’t played yet. I had a group of three boys around ten or eleven years old trying their hardest to get a Hole-In-One without any luck. They kept bragging to each other how they were going to be the first to get a Hole-In-One. I joined in telling each one “C’mon, show your buddy’s who’s got game.” They had each tried around twelve times when a little girl about three years old came up. The boys handed her the club. She grabbed a hold of the club, and using it like a croquet mallet, hit the ball with the tip. Her first shot went straight in for a Hole-In-One. The girls faced beamed with excitement, and the parents yelled “Way to go Amy!” I turned to the boys who were standing there in disbelief and bewilderment. “See, it’s not that hard guys” I said. “I guess we’ve found out Who’s Got Game!” I said jokingly. I had Amy give me a high five, and handed her the prize. The look of enjoyment on her face was priceless.

   On Friday, I had two boys each get a Hole-In One and win a prize. They came back about fifteen minutes later and wanted to try again. While they were playing, one of the boys said, “I want to get another prize so I can give it to my sister.” The other boy said “Yeah, I want to get one for my little sister also.” That just melted my heart. They each tried 9 times to get a Hole-In-One, but couldn’t. A group of new kids came up, so they had to stop trying. I got two more Tootsie Roll Pops and told them “Any brother who wants to win something for his sister is a winner in my book” and handed them the suckers.

   I sold a lot of raffle tickets, and had about 5 people just hand me money to donate to the Foundation. I made enough to get 4 gas cards. I was so glad I could be there, and meet the wonderful people I did. It was rewarding to raise the funds, but by far the two most rewarding parts of the whole experience was keeping her memory alive, and to watch so many families building lasting memories together. I know it made my Angel Shannon very happy. I will always LOVE AND MISS YOU sweetheart.

Next week: The Solar Eclipse

P.S. I had one smart-alecky boy say, “Well, this isn’t very fancy. I’ve seen some a lot better than this.” He then proceeded to miss all three shots horribly. “Just how bad do you suck on the fancy courses?” I said. Okay, that’s what I wanted to say.