Holiday Cheer: A snowfall of family fun lands at AMR Winter Wonderland

| December 19, 2014 | 0 Comments
AMR youngsters received the chance to build a snowman, Saturday as part of the annual Holiday Fest.

AMR youngsters received the chance to build a snowman, Saturday as part of the annual Holiday Fest.

Story and photos by
Karen A. Iwamoto
Staff Writer
ALIAMANU MILITARY RESERVATION — Santa, snow and … the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders?

“It’s all she’s been talking about all week,” said Theresa Kimes, as her 8-year-old daughter Regann bounced around next to her, striking poses in her Aliamanu Military Reservation (AMR) cheerleader uniform. “This is like the best Christmas gift for her.”

“The Dallas Cowboys (cheerleaders) are the best,” Regann added. “Can I have their uniforms?”

The Kimes were among the many families that turned out for the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation’s (FMWR) 2014 Winter Wonderland at the Aliamanu Community Center, Saturday. In keeping with tradition, the event included a fundraiser breakfast with Santa, lots of games and activities and a parking lot covered in snow from POP Fishing & Marine.

“I love it,” said Kendra Anderson, as she watched her 5-year-old daughter, Leilah, scoop snow into a bright red bucket while her 3-year-old son, Derrick Jr., scrambled nearby. “We had breakfast with Santa first and then came out here to see the snow.”

“I’m from Colorado,” she added with a laugh. “I told them, ‘In Colorado it’s like this all the time,’ but they don’t know any different. (Leilah) was born here, then we moved away, then we came back, so this is all she knows.”

Members of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleading team lead young AMR cheerleading-hopefuls in clinic demonstrations Saturday.

Members of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleading team lead young AMR cheerleading-hopefuls in clinic demonstrations Saturday.

2014 adds cheerleading clinic
Snow in Hawaii is usually reason enough to celebrate, especially for homesick families stationed here during the holidays, but this year’s event also included a visit by several Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders who made a stopover on their USO Tour to host a cheerleading clinic for 5- to 18-year-old cheerleaders from the Schofield Barracks and AMR Child, Youth & School (CYS) Services’ Youth Sports program.

“When (the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders) contacted us to say they wanted to stop by on their tour, we, of course, immediately said yes,” said Xylene Lennon, FMWR special events coordinator.

Young AMR cheerleaders show their talent to their families and Dallas Cowboy Cheerleading mentors.

Young AMR cheerleaders show their talent to their families and Dallas Cowboy Cheerleading mentors.

The cheerleaders filled the CYS Services Teen Center at AMR, while families gathered around to watch their children learn basic dance moves and cheer techniques.

The Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders encouraged the younger cheerleaders to stay healthy and active, and to keep moving every day.

“Raise your right hand and repeat after me. ‘I, say your first name, promise to put my thinking cap on and do this because I am smart and the best. Thanks.’”

After the cheerleading clinic, they stayed for a meet-and-greet, signed autographs and took pictures with families in attendance.

“It was a wonderful experience and a great memory for the girls,” said Jovanna Townsend, a CYS Services Youth Sports cheerleading coach at AMR. “I think a lot of the girls really looked up to (the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders), so it was nice of them to come. It gives the girls something to aspire to, you know, so they know they can start out in Youth Sports, but maybe one day they can become a cheerleader.”

Townsend’s 9-year-old daughter, Jayla, participated in the cheerleading clinic and enjoyed it so much that she decided to become a Dallas Cowboys fan, despite the fact that her father is a New York Giants fan.

Townsend said, “She told me, ‘I don’t want to betray my daddy, but you know what? I like the Dallas Cowboys. I want to be a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader.’ And my husband told her, ‘You better become a New York Giants cheerleader.’

“I don’t know what can be done to top this event next year,” she added. “Maybe bring the Pro Bowl back to Hawaii?”

By the Numbers
Here’s a look at the numbers for Winter Wonderland:
•2, the number of trucks it took to deliver the snow.
•11, the number of Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders who participated in the cheer clinic.
•25, the amount, in tons, of snow poured onto the Aliamanu Community Center parking lot.
•50, the number of youth cheerleaders from Schofield Barracks and AMR who participated in the cheer clinic.
•188, the number of tickets sold for Breakfast with Santa.

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Category: Community, Community Relations

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