The Friends of West U Parks Fathers and Flashlights event was a huge success, raising more than $100,000 for West U parks.
The seventh annual urban campout was held on Saturday, Oct. 5 and Sunday, Oct. 6. The gross amount raised from the event was $117,152.
Through the new online registration this year, Fathers and Flashlights sold out in a record three minutes. Fathers and Flashlights had 498 children and 257 dads who took part in the community event.
The event was chaired by Judy and Comfort Cheng, Dee Dee and Jamie Gilder and Ashley and Sam Gumbert.
The hot Saturday temperatures did not slow down the fun for anyone. Tents were pitched and the wide-range of activities began at 4 p.m. Big hits for the campers were the popular Catch-and-Release fishing, Tie-Dye, Rock Climbing, Giant Slide, Jacob’s ladder and an Inflatable Obstacle Course. Camp Russo was once again a must do for the little campers, this year offering Camel rides, a petting zoo and a pumpkin maze.
Dinner was donated by Eldoe Street Café & Catering, Chick-fil-A (Holcombe and Buffalo Speedway) and Papa John’s Pizza. Desserts by Harper Street Treats, Potbelly and Tiny’s No. 5 were enjoyed while dancing to music provided by Tommy Blaze. The Houston Astronomical Society provided telescopes and viewing assistance for the campers to stargaze before lights out.
Before the rain arrived on Sunday morning, the campers were treated to breakfast donated by Goode Company Restaurants, Shipley Do-Nuts and Kolache Factory.
The chairs and their families enjoyed the urban campout as much as the almost 750 attendees. This was their first year to chair this event. They along with all the campers were glad that the weather held out for all of the activities on Saturday.
“Fathers & Flashlights was a great success,” said event Chair Dee Dee Gilder. “As one father told me, ‘there are not times anymore where kids can just play free and run around with their friends.’ When we grew up we had that freedom but not much today. It is always a treat to see kids having so much fun.”
The Chengs, Gilders and Gumberts would also like to recognize that the night would not have been possible without the help of the volunteers (257 Moms), the City of West U Parks & Recreation Department, West U Elementary, Tri-Sports and Friends of West U Parks underwriters and sponsors.
Direct Energy was once again the Title sponsor of the event. Other donors include Frost Bank, Oppenheimer & Co., Inc., Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co., Maggie Garza, Keller Williams/Old Republic Title, Cadence Bank and Cammarata Pediatric Dentistry. Many other businesses and families donated generously to Fathers & Flashlights 2013 and with the combined generosity from all, the tireless hours of preparation and planning from the Chairs and the commitment from the Event Committee, Fathers & Flashlights was a great success.