story & photo
by K.A. Breton
Over 500 families came out for the ninth annual Youthtopia, Griswold, quite an impressive number for a town with a population of slightly over 10,500. The May 29 event was put on by the Town Recreation Department, and took place at the Griswold Veterans Memorial Park. Director of Recreation and Youth and Family Services, Ryan Aubin felt that Youthtopia went very well, and said, “Our Youth and Family Services Committee was excellent, and we had a blast. It’s great to see youth and adult volunteers working together at all of our events. We raised over $800.” Money will be spent on repairs to the youth center pool table, along with an upcoming field trip for youth center members.
The event started off with a presentation of “Recognizing Our Heroes – National Guard and Fire Fighters,” followed by a flag ceremony shortly after. Along with a DJ, entertainment was also proved by the Griswold Jazz Band.
The family event included many activities for the kids; face painting, an inflatable rock climbing wall, and obstacle course. Life Star Helicopter from the Hartford Hospital stopped in. It is a flying critical care service that provides air transport for patients who are in dire need of care and quick transport. Everyone took advantage of getting a quick informational tour while it was grounded. According to Bill Clark, Pilot of Life Star, “Life Star has been in service since 1985, and receives an average of two to four calls per day -treating critically ill patients.”
Bart Surrell of Jewett City’s Surrell’s Pizza was there, as he is with most community events. “I believe in giving back to the community and helping out the youth,” he said.
The Youth Center has activities planned for the summer, which includes sports camps, summer camp, and many other youth and adult oriented activities. For a complete list, please visit their website at www.griswoldyfs.com.