Second Annual ‘Fathers & Flashlights’ To Benefit Friends of West University Place Parks

August 14, 2008

Fathers & Flashlights, sponsored by and benefiting the Friends of West University Place Parks Fund, Inc., is an ‘urban campout’ for families and residents that are zoned to West University Elementary School. The second annual campout will be held Saturday, Oct. 4 – Sunday, Oct. 5, at the West U. Little League and Tri-Sports fields, adjacent to West U Elementary.

This overnight adventure offers children an opportunity to bond with dad without traveling far from home. The suggested minimum age is four years, and multiple children from one family may participate.

“We are so excited to be hosting the 2nd annual Fathers & Flashlights. The campout is an adventure and highly anticipated neighborhood tradition right in the heart of West U. West U is known for its community and this is a great example of our community coming together. As a parent, we hope with these kinds of bonding experiences, our children have good memories and experiences of childhood.” said Daryl Hoover, who is co-chairing the event with husband Aaron and fellow resident Jennifer Gatto. All 3 are co-chairing the event for a second consecutive year.

“Since the event was so successful last year, we have increased the number of dads from
175 to 250. Come join the fun and help provide much needed funds for our continued renovation and improvement of our parks,” said Hoover.

Campers will enjoy a smorgasbord of activities that include arts and crafts, outdoor games, rock wall, moonwalk, music and a buffet dinner. As night falls, families will gather for S’mores and campfire songs, flashlight games, and a nighttime bug hunt, as no campout would be complete without these traditional activities. The event concludes with an early breakfast the following morning.

Check-in runs from 3 – 4 p.m. on Oct. 4 along University Boulevard, at which time tents may be set-up in designated 14’x14’ plots. Activities are scheduled to begin after 3 p.m.

The cost is $40 for fathers and $35 per child, with proceeds benefiting the Friends of West U Place Parks Fund, Inc. Cash and checks made payable to the City of West University Place will be accepted. The majority of direct costs have been subsidized through the support of event sponsors.

“Our West U. parks and playgrounds are used by our entire community – young children,
teens, grandchildren of residents, and families. The Friends of West U. Parks had the honor of hosting the first Fathers & Flashlights in 2007, and we are thrilled to be doing so again under the continued leadership of Daryl and Jennifer,” said Joni Hruska Fichter, Friends board chair.
“This event is unique and has been so well received that the Texas Recreation and Parks Department recognized us for excellence in programming. Additionally, other cities are contacting us so that they can start similar programs in their communities.”

Event registration for residents and families zoned to West University Elementary School begins Sept. 3, and is on a first-come, first-served basis. Registration and waiver/consent forms are available at designated registration sites and online at To participate, complete the registration and volunteer forms, fill-out and sign the waiver/consent form, attach a check payable to the Friends of West University Place Parks Fund, and return to one of the designated sites during business hours. Early registration is encouraged, as sell-out of the available plots is expected.

Registration sites include: Colonial Park Pool & Recreation Center, 4130 Byron, Monday – Thursday: 5:30 a.m. – 10 p.m., Friday: 5:30 – 8:00 a.m., noon – 9 p.m., Saturday: 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.;
West U Recreation Center, 4210 Bellaire Blvd., Monday – Thursday, 4 – 9 p.m., Saturday: noon – 5 p.m., Sunday: 1 – 5 p.m.; West U Community Building, 6104 Auden St., Monday – Thursday, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m., Friday: 8 a.m. – 7 p.m., closed Saturday & Sunday.

Fathers & Flashlights is made possible through the help of volunteer moms. A two-hour volunteer commitment is required for participating families, either prior to or at the event. A volunteer form is included in the registration packet and must be completed and turned-in before camper registration will be confirmed. Registered families will be contacted with scheduling details.
To obtain additional information about Fathers & Flashlights, visit, call 713- 662-5396 or e-mail

InstantNewsWestu Staff

View more articles Subscribe