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Combat Center children showcase their outfits donated by American Friends of our Armed Forces during a fashion show at the Main Exchange Aug. 15, 2014. The back to school week was well received by families that attended. (Official Marine Corps Photo by Cpl. Kathryn Seiler/Released)

Photo by Cpl. Kate Seiler

MCCS, Semper Fit host week-long back to school event

18 Aug 2014 | Cpl. Kathryn Seiler

With a new school year quickly approaching, Marine Corps Community Services organized an entire week of activities from Aug. 11 to Aug. 15 for children who are going back to school Aug. 25, 2014.

The Back to School Week began with an education fair where educators from Morongo Unified School District informed parents of educational options for their children. They had several events planned for the following three days to include a pool party, a Back to School Brigade and a fashion show.
The week-long event was organized by MCCS and Semper Fit, and sponsored by American Friends of our Armed Forces and Operation Homefront.

The pool party took place at the Training Tank Aug. 13 for families stationed aboard the Combat Center. The Semper Fit team provided water bikes, canoes, paddle boats, and a giant inflatable Slip N’ Slide for Combat Center patrons and their kids.
More than 100 people attended the event and enjoyed snow cones, popcorn and other tasty snacks. Brad Brimhall, director, Semper Fit, and Janet New, operations branch head, Semper Fit, were in charge of the pool party and enthusiastically spread the word about staying active and keeping families involved in their community.

“The more interest in the programs we have to offer, the more we can provide for the Marines, sailors and families aboard the Combat Center,” Brimhall said.

The week-long event gives families another set of activities to participate in leading up to the first day of school.

“Sometimes you just can’t get off base so we try to afford those kinds of things to the families stationed here. So we have to bring activities to the service members,” New said.

The pool party was a positive precursor to the start of a new school year. Operation Homefront added to the events by hosting the Back to School Brigade at the Community Center. They provided military families with basic school supplies for free, including back packs, pencils, pens and other supplies Aug. 14.

Last week’s events ended with a fashion show sponsored by AFAF at the Main Exchange Aug. 15. Sixteen children were lined up one aisle, waiting to model the clothes they hand-picked from the exchange. The clothes were generously donated by AFAF for the kids to model in front of dozens of attendees. The families cheered as the children walked down the aisle.

“We just want to have people enjoy the summer before the start of the new school year,” said Celina Laserna, MCCS marketing.

As each child walked down the aisle, they had a chance to show their personality and delivered adorable responses to questions the announcer asked. The event ended with a group finale and the participants bowed as the audience applauded.

The Back to School Week was well received and helped the kids put their best foot forward for the school year ahead.

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Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms