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Activity night includes community, promotes quality family time

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A family that plays together, stays together. 

At least that’s the idea behind Glacier View Christian School’s family night last Thursday. 

Friendly faces, a hearty meal and good old-fashioned family fun warmed the cafeteria and gymnasium of GVCS, welcoming in both strangers and friends to a night of family fun. The evening was the first family night to be held at the school and judging by the success of the event, it will definitely not be the last. 

“It’s great to see the building full,” GVCS teacher Kathy Edwards said. 

More than 50 people from the local community attended the school’s family night. And the event is open to anyone who would like to spend some quality time with their family.

“We really want it to be a community event,” member of the GVCS’s school board Aric Cooksley said. “Anyone is welcome.”

Teenagers and toddlers alike brought their parents and shared in activities together, ranging from table tennis to volleyball. The event also offered basketball, board games, puzzles, card games, foosball, along with a supervised children’s area for wee ones to play.

A spaghetti dinner was also served to families who attended family night.

The idea for the event stemmed from the brainstorming of what Cooksley refers to as the “core group,” including Aric and Melody Cooksley, David and Amy Vaughan, Kevin and Carrie Miller, Kevin and Karen Adams, Frank and Michael Delgado, and Mark and Sarey Robinson. 

The group discussed ways to benefit the community, and set about conducting informal research.

They concluded that the community, especially families in the community needed a place to congregate, share in fun activities, and socialize. They decided that outside of bars and restaurants, there was no such place in the area during winter.

“We have this facility that can do all this stuff (activities),” Cooksley explained. “We’d be bad stewards of our resources if we didn’t use it to benefit others.”

Using the newer gym and the school cafeteria to serve the needs of the public seemed like a good idea to the group from the school and the Seventh Day Adventist Church. 

They quickly pooled their resources and pulled volunteers from the church and school, who were willing to donate their time and skills to make family night a reality. 

For the group and volunteers, family night is just the beginning of a greater plan to make a difference in the lives of people and in the community.

“There’s also a need to improve families and people,” Cooksley said. “And to provide things that make a positive difference in the community.”

Cooksley and his crew have been considering adult education classes, cooking classes and even expanding family night to a weekly event, in addition to their open gym youth night every third Thursday of the month. The open gym youth night is sponsored by the Seventh Day Adventist Church and pairs up with the youth group from First Baptist Church of Ronan for a night of sports and fun at the open gym. The athletics follow a 30-minute worship session.

As for now, the funds are not available to support a weekly family night, but it’s not too far out of the question.

Cooksley said that he would like to partner with other churches in the area to make a weekly family night a reality. 

Until then, family night will continue to be held every first Thursday night, supporting family fun, lively conversations between old friends and new friends, and promoting a healthier, ha

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