Yesterday's Field Day event at Blackburn Community Center, co-hosted with Columbus Division of Police and the Columbus Office of the Cincinnati Division of the FBI, was a blast!
Our FBI friends engaged the kids with intriguing talks about their roles. They discussed things such as Internet safety and anti-terrorism efforts, and there was even a demonstration by Task Force Officer Bryan Thompson and K-9 Ty.
CPD Officer Dan Snyder spoke to the children about his duties in their neighborhood, and several of them said they recognized him. One asked if he'd ever been on TV, and he admitted he had, playfully blaming it on Starfish President/Founder Nicole Banks, who has pushed him in front of news cameras at events more than once.
Officer Snyder provided a detailed explanation of the items on his duty belt, addressing the topic of firearm safety in particular. It was a poignant moment when roughly half of the 75 kids indicated they had seen a gun before, and about 19 confessed to encountering one without an adult present. He seized this opportunity to stress the significance of never touching a firearm and alerting an adult or calling 911 if they come across one. He mentioned even if they know they're safe and won't touch it, they need to tell someone because another child might find it, and they might not make the same choices.
After these great presentations, everyone was able to enjoy a wonderful Donato's lunch of pizza and salad together. Then, we played a very hotly contested version of musical chairs that led to lots of laughter and, curiously enough, inspired a spate of pushups.
The children had a chance to try on the FBI's very heavy vests and marvel at CPD's cruisers and bikes, making the event more memorable!
A heartfelt thanks to our sponsors-- Byers Airport Subaru, CME Federal Credit Union, the Cooper Family Foundation, and Donatos Pizza. And, of course, a special shout out to our partners--CPD, the FBI, and Columbus Recreation and Parks Department, for their tremendous contribution to this unforgettable day. We had an absolute ball!