FORT LEE, Va. (March 31, 2011) -- During Family Fun Night festivities Friday evening in the Sustainment Center of Excellence headquarters building here, about 100 Soldiers, government civilians, family members and friends enjoyed an assortment of activities including a first-time "Call to Duty Black Ops" video game competition.
The event also featured children's movies, bingo and other games, door prizes, and food and beverages. According to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Combined Arms Support Command Family Readiness Group leader Viktoria Green, the overall goal was to create a "fun evening out" for the various members of the unit - particularly the military moms, dads and dependents who deal with the everyday challenges of Army life.
"This is just one of the great ideas our FRG membership thought of to bring folks together and show the spirit of our CASCOM family," said Green. "And the funds we raised through food and beverage sales at this event will be used for future activities like our FRG Easter Party in April and a camping trip we're planning for June."
The central focus of the Friday-night gathering was the Black Ops competition that attracted more than 30 competitors. Soldiers, civilians, teenagers and even younger children played side-by-side, and nobody held back as they tackled the seventh version of the "Call to Duty" game series in which the player assumes the role of a Special Forces operative behind enemy lines.
"We were all impressed with the turn-out and the fact that everyone had a really good time," said Staff Sgt. Colin Dayton, one of the competition referees. "The sportsmanship was also outstanding, even though the first-place winner, 15-year-old Cannithy Nguyen, and the second-place winner, 12-year-old Jonathan Pitchford, beat our best Soldiers."
Nguyen also earned recognition that evening as one of the event organizers, and he was presented a certificate of appreciation and a monetary award.
The response from the Family Fun Night participants was very favorable. Ronald Lee Parker III, the 15-year-old son of Staff Sgt. Fransanda Parker, said he was most-impressed with the food. "Hotdogs, nachos, cookies and brownies are awesome!" he said.
Destiny Green, the 12-year-old daughter of HHC, CASCOM 1st Sgt. Laderek Green and his wife Viktoria, was more impressed with the games and prizes. "Bingo and the video games were the most fun," she said.
Lynda R. Pitchford, a civilian employee with the BRAC Integration Office, Deputy Chief of Staff for Resource Management, brought four of her grandchildren to the event. "I'm so glad I did," she said. "They all had a great time."
With another successful Family Fun Night in the books, the CASCOM FRG is now looking forward to its next activity - a fundraiser yard sale in the upcoming months. Green is welcoming donations of gently used items that can be sold at the event. For additional details, contact the HHC CASCOM first sergeant at (804) 734-0181 or the family readiness support assistant at 734-0148.
Additional FRG participation is welcome also, noted Cpl. Cedric Holland, one of the Family Fun Night coordinators.
"If you are employed by CASCOM, Soldier or Department of the Army Civilian or a Family member, you are a member of the CASCOM FRG," he said, "and we'd love to hear your ideas for future events at any of our upcoming meetings. Your ideas, concerns and suggestions can make a difference."