WALLINGFORD — Families spent the afternoon Saturday playing Thanksgiving-themed games and activities at the annual Turkey Palooza at the Wallingford Family YMCA.
There were physical activities in the gym and board games and arts and crafts in the community room. The event was free with the donation of a non-perishable food item.
Rob Newton, YMCA family and teen coordinator, said the food items would be sent to Master’s Manna, a local food pantry and resource center.
“We’ve been doing this for about ten years now,” Newton said. “It’s all about building up family relationships and getting them to come down and spend time together.”
Newton timed children in the turkey dinner run, an obstacle course race featuring Mr Feathers, a toy stuffed turkey.
Samantha Welch, a Wallingford resident, cheered on the sidelines of the gym as she watched her 7-year-old son Landon participate in the turkey dinner run. Welch is a Y member.
”We tend to utilize programs like this just to continue the bond and open up opportunities for him,” Welch said.
Welch added that the event also taught her son about the importance of giving to others.
“The fact that they have the donations is so important because it reminds the kids,” Welch said. “They learn from reminders and they learn from role models and that’s what the YMCA is, they’re role models.”
Cassandra Allen, Y youth and teen outreach director, said the activities were designed for different age groups.
“I want to see the families playing together, having a good time and having a great afternoon where they can be together and enjoy each others company,” Allen said.