Coast Guard hosts carnival for military dependents in Kodiak, Alaska

 

Children choose toys at  TIF and BGCA carnival

Haille Brown picks out a toy for her sister, who was getting her face painted, with her mother at the Toy Industry Foundation and Boys and Girls Club of America sponsored carnival at Coast Guard Base Kodiak, June 15, 2013, in Kodiak, Alaska. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Sara Francis.

Coast Guard Base Kodiak’s Morale, Well-being and Recreation division hosted a carnival for military dependants on the base at Air Station Kodiak’s Hangar 3 Saturday.

More than 700 children from the families of members attached to the Coast Guard, Navy SEALs and Alaska Army National Guard attended. They played games, had faces painted and enjoyed barbecue. The highlight of carnival was the toy giveaway sponsored by the Boys and Girls Club of America and the Toy Industry Foundation. Each child picked out a brand new toy ranging from stuffed animals to board games and arts and crafts to video games.

“The children had a great time and seeing their smiles made the day very eventful,” said Joe Bower, director of base Kodiak’s MWR division. “Coast Guard Base Kodiak is very appreciative and thankful for all the donations and efforts from Toy Industry Foundation and Boys and Girls Clubs of America.”

Carnival organizers

Capt. Jerry Woloszynski, commanding officer, Coast Guard Base Kodiak, stands with Linda Pena, base Kodiak MWR, Glori Burrell, Boys and Girls Club of America, Jean Butler, Toy Industry Foundation, and Joe Bower, director base Kodiak MWR, at the BCGA and TIF kids carnival hosted by Coast Guard Base Kodiak MWR in Kodiak, Alaska, June 15, 2013. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Sara Francis.

This is just one of 10 events held annually aboard the base hosted by the MWR division. Other events have included USO visits and sporting tournaments. The Lt. Dan Band, sponsored by the USO and TriWest Healthcare Alliance, has visited Kodiak twice in the last four years.

Saturday’s event was held as part of the joint TIF and BGCA Play Comforts program – the first-ever national toy distribution initiative to serve every branch of the military. Through Play Comforts, toys and games donated by caring toy companies are delivered on an annual basis to families on dozens of military installations in the U.S. and abroad. Now in its fourth year of operation, the program has provided more than $3.5 million in toys for children of military families.

“Our motivation is to give back to the service members and their families for all they do for us as a nation,” said Jean Butler, with the Toy Industry Foundation. “We also try to relieve the children’s stress of busy lives and deployments. What better way to do that than with a toy. Toys and play help relieve this stress, which is why we are excited to partner with BGCA to reach military youth across the globe.”

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