Bingo! First CK Family Night a hit

Holding 7-month-old Gabrielle, Melissa Medina of Silverdale watched as her two eldest daughters Naomi, 4, and Illiana, 11, excitedly scanned their bingo cards for the most recent numbers called.

It was a common scene at Thursday’s Central Kitsap Family Night at the Fairgrounds’ Presidents’ Hall as families huddled together for a fun and interactive game of bingo. In the adjoining room children and adults alike browsed the information tables set up by an array of community organizations.

“They seem to be very happy with the event,” said Girl Scouts membership recruiter Melody Pruett-Hopfensperger, as she manned the booth Thursday evening. “They’re carrying a lot of information around which is nice to see. It’s been so much fun to see the kids and they’re actually excited to be here.”

Ribs and Catherine Schoderer of Silverdale were hoping to find information on summer camp and activities and were grateful to find local information they typically don’t come across.

“I think it’s pretty neat and we might learn a few things,” Ribs said of the event.

“We don’t get a lot in the mail that talks about summer camp and activities,” Catherine added.

Not only was the event a way for families to join together, but it also raised funds for the Central Kitsap Parent Teacher Student Association (CKPTSA) Council. Proceeds from the food sales totaled about $553 for the organization.

“We didn’t know what to expect and now we do,” said CKPTSA President Monika Scotti on Friday morning. “It was a great night, everyone had a wonderful time.”

The Central Kitsap Community Council (CKCC) collaborated with several other community entities to make the event a reality. CKCC President Hank Mann-Sykes was happy to see an event focused on family.

“In this society we don’t put enough focus on families,” he said. “This is tremendous. This is about families and children and the family unit. It shows me that families can say, ‘Stop’ and come here and spend some time together in the community.”

With organizers hoping for a large turnout, many, including CKCC member Jon Pearson, were happy with the free event’s attendance.

“There are more people than I thought would be here,” Pearson said.

“I’m delighted,” added fellow member Natalie Bryson. “It’s a great, great thing for this community. The people who have done this work deserve endless congratulations. It’s a wonderful event.”

Both the public and organizers alike agreed they would like to see it as an annual event.

“I think we really need an event for community members to rally,” said Central Kitsap School District Superintendent Greg Lynch.

As part of Family Night, students from schools across the district provided entertainment for the evening.

“Whenever our children can perform for the community and parents, it’s a good thing,” he said.

“It is an honor for the school district to participate and have an opportunity to showcase our students,” he said in his opening remarks at the event. “ ... Tonight is a time for us all to better connect our community. A chance for parents, students, community members, businesses, non-profit organizations and other government institutions to come together in partnership.”

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