New Orleans flair brought to FSU during Family Fun Day

FSU’s eighth annual Family Fun Day ran activities, including a traveling animal show, tables hosted by clubs and a photo booth, for families of the Framingham community on Sunday, Feb. 22.

The event was Mardi Gras themed, with tables lined with beaded necklaces and jazz music playing over the speakers.

Jill Hayward, SILD’s administrative assistant, said the event had a budget of about $1,000, which was funded by the College Center Trust Fund.

Hayward said the limited budget is the biggest challenge for the student interns to figure out how to not spend more than the budget allowed. The Forum was adorned with decorations that had been recently used for the Mardi Gras-themed dinner in the Dining Commons.

Family Fun Day attracted an attendance of about 125 people, according to Hayward.

“I saw a mix of people,” including faculty, staff, students, children from the Child Development Lab and alumni, Hayward said. “We hit everybody that we had hoped to.”

Hayward said three SILD interns, junior Colleen Schroth, senior Molly Buckley and senior Michelle McGonagle, began planning the event last semester, chose the theme and helped to run the activities, with help from other SILD interns.

Schroth said they decided on the Mardi Gras theme, and then “it seemed obvious to have beads and the cake.” They knew the Creature Teachers, the traveling animal show, could bring animals from New Orleans, like alligators.

The representative from Creature Teachers, Richard Roth, brought a variety of animals, such as Mango the Scarlet Macaw, and told the crowd about their characteristics.

He showed the audience an alligator, chameleon, kinkajou and sugar glider, among other animals. While holding a kookaburra, Roth asked the crowd to make a cawing sound, which encouraged the bird to let out its signature laughing call.

Parker Gelfand, a student from the Child Development Lab, said he enjoyed the lollipops and his favorite animal to see was the kookaburra.

His mother, Susan Glueck, said she also had a fun time and enjoyed seeing the animals.

Elsewhere, children enjoyed face painting, a freeze dance game and activities provided by the clubs which hosted booths.

Hayward said nine clubs signed up for tables, but only six were able to make it because of “scheduling conflicts.”

She added that it was wonderful for the community to see how hardworking the students who run FSU clubs are. “They don’t always get the opportunity to see that.”

WDJM, the college’s radio station, provided theme music and a freeze dance game, as well as a table at which students could decorate paper crowns.

Pride Alliance also held a table at which people can color and eat candy. “Coloring is therapeutic,” said junior Steph Scanlon, treasurer of the group, who added that this activity coincides with their month-long campaign of encouraging self-care.

Liv Reardon, a member of the Education Club, said, “It’s [Family Fun Day] really cute. It’s fun to get involved with the kids.”

Anime Club hosted a table at which participants could color or get a caricature drawn of them by an artist in the group, freshman Kayla Brindisi. She said, “I think I did about five. It didn’t take me long at all. Maybe three or four minutes.”

Kim McKaughan, the mother of a student from the Child Development Lab, said she got a picture drawn from the anime club table, which was “awesome.”

She said, “I have two young boys” who enjoyed the activities.

Her son, Kaleb McKaughan, said his favorite event was the “freeze dance. It was so cool.”

His mother added, “It’s a lot of fun. It’s free and family-oriented.”

Jae Valente, whose cousin goes to FSU, brought her son, Sam, to the event. “We just came to have fun, and let my son get some energy out. It’s cold, so he hasn’t been able to go outside.”

McGonagle, one of the SILD interns who planned the event, said she was concerned the weather would make it difficult for people to make it to campus to participate in Family Fun Day, but it turned out to be a clear day. She considered the event a success.

She said, “I think many families were tired of being stuck in the house, and they saw Family Fun Day as a great way for their children to get out of the house, play and have fun.”

McGonagle added, “There is a lot of behind-the-scenes work that goes into planning any event, but this event had a lot of planning to make it successful.”

Roman Berman, the husband of an alumna, was waiting in line to get his picture taken at the photo booth. He said he wife graduated from FSU about 20 years prior, and their child, who now attends the Child Development Lab, liked “seeing friends from the day care.”

Deborah McMakin, a philosophy and psychology professor, said, “It’s my first time coming to this event. There’s a very welcoming and kid-friendly atmosphere.”

Dining Services Unit Controller Sheila Lindsey said her granddaughter really enjoyed the event. “She’s having a ball. She’s having so much fun.”

Her granddaughter, Lindsey Walsh, said she liked the event. “I’m running with my friends!”

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