About 250 Fathers and 500 children with flashlights participated in the annual Fathers and Flashlights urban campout over the weekend in West University Place.
The wildly popular event is a special fundraiser hosted by the Friends of West U Parks, Inc., a non-profit corporation that raises funds to support parks and greenspace in West University Place.
A slightly overcast sky kept temperatures comfortable, as Dads and kids turned the ball fields at West U Elementary into a tent city. Tents, folding chairs, coolers, sleeping bags and inflatable mattresses covered the grounds.
Dads took time off to chill out while their children enjoyed a “rock climbing wall,” pony rides and “pony races,” fishing for real live catfish, a bounce house, slides and other games. Volunteer Moms ran the tie-dye T-shirt booth, a messy but satisfying tradition — evidenced by an abundance of prior year’s shirts.
Donna LaMond, executive director of the Friends group, said: “This cloud-cover is a God-send.” Last year’s urban campout was very, very hot, so nobody minded when a light mist fell early Sunday morning.
Co-chairs for the 2014 Fathers and Flashlights event were Dee Dee Gilder and Judy Chang.