by Josh Magill
Even with the threat of rain, Frederickson’s Family Movie Night attracted approximately 150 excited residents to the grounds of Sound Life Church on Friday evening. The event started at 6:30 pm and though the feature show of the night was the “The Smurfs,” it was not the most exciting part for the many children in attendance – which was the playground, the bounce house and the pony rides.
“We go all over Washington this time of year,” says Pablo Verbera, who ran the pony ride concession. “We also do the Eggstravaganza here in April, but this is the first time we have done the movie event.”
Verbera, who lives in the area, charged five dollars a rider and only had a short time to talk to the Mountain News because the line was never empty even as the movie began about 8 pm.
“Some have been on a horse before, but about fifty-percent of these kids – it is their first time riding,” added Verbera, who cheerfully called each rider a cowboy or cowgirl as he guided them to their horse.
This is the third straight year the free event has been sponsored by the Frederickson-Clover Creek Community Council, which works to provide other popular attractions each year. The church playground was full of children happy to be outside and parents pleased to let them use up their energy. The face-painting booth also attracted quite a few children, as well as the bounce house with a slide that had shoes coming off in record time.
Many of the adults, when not chasing youngsters, crowded around the snacks and drinks available from Arturo’s Concessions at various prices. They also gave of themselves – specifically their blood – at the Cascade Regional Blood Services bloodmobile.
“Last year was the first I found out about this event,” states Megan Johnson, a consultant for Cascade Regional Blood Services. “Someone called me and said come on down and be a part of our event. This year I picked up the phone and called them.”
Johnson described her agency’s services: “We are and have been the sole supplier of blood to hospitals in south King County and Pierce County for over 65 years. We work with all the high schools, colleges and churches in the area as they make up about a quarter of the blood supply for the community.”
Johnson and her son, Wes, were very active in walking the crowds and reaching out to folks about giving blood. Their goal was to get a least 15 individuals on the bus – a small number, but Johnson pointed out could save many lives. Giving blood became more important to her last year when her husband had a stroke and she saw first-hand the importance. This evening though the weather outlook made Johnson nervous they would not reach their goal.
“Last year the weather was a little better than it is today. I have a feeling that a lot of people that were planning on coming may have changed their minds based on what the skies look like. So the attendance looks a little lower, but there is still time.”
However, by the time the small droplets of rain started at 8:30 pm they had reached their goal – with more waiting in line. In appreciation each donor was given a bright red t-shirt before leaving the bloodmobile.
The light rain did not drive many away. Instead, families huddled together on the grassy hill laughing while they watched the little blue smurfs wreak havoc on the screen.
The second of two Frederickson Family Movie Nights this year is scheduled for Friday, August 24th. It will also be held at the Sound Life Church.
© 2012 Josh Magill; all photos by Josh Magill.
Editor’s Note: Josh Magill is a new voice to the Mountain News, and we welcome him greatly. Here’s some info on the new guy:
Josh Magill was born in the infamous “alien town” of Roswell, New Mexico in 1975. At the age of 10, his family moved to the rural southern town of Rome, Georgia where his father took a job in law enforcement.
Magill attended Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, where he was a columnist for the university newspaper – the Daily Egyptian. He also worked for SIUC Media Services, which handles all media relations for the university’s 18 athletic teams, the athletic website, as well as all media guides and game programs.
As a freelance writer, Magill has been published in various newspapers including the Chicago-Sun Times, Southern Illinoisan, and Dallas Morning News.
In addition to freelance reporting, Josh works full-time as the Retail Operations Manager in charge of the western United States for Crossmark, a leading company in the retail service industry.
Josh and his wife, Angela, have lived in Frederickson with their three children since 2009.