Perhaps that is the best way to describe the Johnston Youth Panthers Football and Cheer’s first-ever attempt at hosting an ambitious fundraiser like Sunday’s Family Fun Day/Walk-A-Thon.
Johnston War Memorial Park, in fact, has never seen such a wide variety of events as the proud Panthers put on for nearly 350 people and raised a tidy sum of $8,000 for the gridiron group’s 2019 season in the Blackstone Valley Division of American Youth Football.
“The (propane gas-powered) grills were as fired up as a football team trying to eke out an overtime victory,” said Sean Senno, the youth group’s vice president who was sent crashing into the Dunk Tank time and again Sunday. “People were saying our sausage and pepper sandwiches were even better than the ones on Federal.”
In short, Sunday’s super special event – which transformed Johnston’s pristine park into a mighty midway replete with games such as a toilet paper throw into a toilet seat – was one for the record books.
“Everyone is excited about the success Sunday,” Senno went on. “We are already starting to plan for next year’s event.”
In addition to the nearly 30 vendors who set up shop Sunday, War Memorial Park was a kiddieland, replete with inflatable items like an extra large boot camp/obstacle course, classic inflatable bounce house and an exciting inflatable slide that Tony Morettti – of Absolute Fun in Warwick - donated to the Panthers by way of his longstanding friendship with former Panthers President Gary Salzillo.
“This is a well-planned, old-fashioned family fun fest,” people observed throughout the sun-covered event. “Whoever planned all the unique games should be in the carnival business.”
That was perhaps an understatement, given the pure fun boys and girls of all ages got from firing a softball and tripping a lever that dropped people like Senno and President Matt Clements into the chilly dunk tank water.
“Hey some folks say I’m all wet,” Clements mused while issuing thanks to each and every parent, player and cheerleader who spent all day inside War Memorial Park eating foods on the larger menu offered at the concession stand. “We accomplished our goal; the name of the game today was F-U-N and that’s what everyone had today.”
Senno, meanwhile, heaped words of praise on Clements and Tara Abbruzzi who spearheaded and helped plan the vent form A-to-Z.
When asked if he has any thoughts about next year, Clements quipped, “Well, let’s see; I’ve got to put my thinking cap on …”
That’s exactly what the Panthers planning committee did for Sunday’s super show, an event extraordinaire highlighted by unmatched creations that will further enhance the gridiron group’s offerings for youth football players and cheerleaders. WATER WORK: Sean Senno, vice president of the Johnston Youth Football and Cheer, awaits being dropped – again – into the water of this Dunk Tank that was among the more popular events during Sunday’s Family Fun Day inside War Memorial Park. (Photo by Pete Fontaine)
(Photo by Pete Fontaine) FUN 2 IMG 3839
PAINTED PANTHER: Zane Pistachio, one of the new members of the Johnston Panthers Flag Football Division, enjoyed the busy fact-painting booth at Sunday’s Family Fun Day. (Photo by Pete Fontaine) FUN 3 IMG 3849
GARB GROUP: Ladies like Jess Testa, Dawn Barry, Bethany Clements and Tar Abbruzzi spend Sunday staffing and selling a variety of Johnston Panthers Football and Cheer merchandise. (Photo by Pete Fontaine) FUN 4 IMG 3850
PANTHER PASSERS: The Football Throwing game, which had four targets all at different lengths from where the toss actually originated, was mighty popular Sunday. (Photo by Pete Fontaine) FUN 5 IMG 3856
CREATIVE CAMP: This is one of the inflatable items – a.k.a. Boot Camp -- dozens upon dozens of kids went through and enjoyed Sunday. (Photo by Pete Fontaine) FUN 6 IMG 3866
CLEVER CREATIOIN: These members of the Youth Football anthers staffed the unique to9ler paper throw that even featured a wooden toiler that required one’s skill to toss a roll of white toilet paper into the make-shift toilet during Sunday’s Family Fun Day in Johnston. (Photo by Pete Fontaine) FUN 7 IMG 3872
MUSIC MAN: Joey Acciardo Jr. helped make Sunday’s Family Fun Day a super success by volunteering his time to play music during the gridiron group’s first-ever event. (Photo by Pete Fontaine)