Kids of all ages hit Sunshine and Rainbow Day Care Center last week, reveling in the carnival games, train rides, mini-golf, face painting and, of course junk food, offered at the center’s annual carnival.
“It is all about the people and the community. We want the business owners and professionals to come and meet the kids of the community,” said Donna Venefra, who along with Sheri Larson are the driving force behind the annual summer function.
The carnival was put on with the help of a long list of Forks businesses and citizens.
It opened Tuesday and continued through Wednesday, with that evening set aside for teenagers to cut loose at a chaperoned dance with music and lighting provided by Juan Almazan.
A father of teens, Almazan likes to actively promote the Teen Center and its place in the community for youths.
“I’m straight up with them. You know, I’ve known a lot of these kids since they were at the preschool, and they know me too,” he said, stressing about the importance of helping children grow up to be active members of the community.
That is really just the point of the carnival, to introduce members of the community to each other who might not otherwise meet.
As such, the Forks Police, Forest Service, Coast Guard, ambulance and the department all had employees or members on hand to visit with the younger generation.
More than 50 teens from Catholic churches in Port Orchard and Selway were in Forks lending a helping hand for the week. Several of them landed to help out at the Sunshine and Rainbows Carnival.
“We just come up here because they need a lot of help. We all like the satisfaction of helping out,” says Oriana Ruscigno.
Ruscigno and Levinson Pena of St. Gabriel’s in Port Orchard were volunteering at the face painting booth after some time at the games.
“I’m not sure who is having more fun, me or the kids,” Rick Seguin said with a grin from behind the wheel of the West End Business and Professional Association’s train.
A veteran of the United States Marine Corps and current caretaker at Sarge’s Place, Seguin said he has a strong sense of the value of community and helping youths to grow up in a positive environment.