MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUN, N.C. --
Giddy children wearing rabbit masks skipped and hopped enthusiastically after an energizing breakfast while parents tried to keep up with their little ones during playtime.
Service members and families gathered for the Peter Rabbit’s Pancake Party, hosted at the Heroes Manor District Clubhouse aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, March 24.
The event was the first community event held by Heroes Manor District Clubhouse. Families arrived at 9 a.m. and started the morning with a sugar-filled meal that could make anyone outlast the energizer bunny. It kept some parents on their toes. Luckily, the person in the Peter Rabbit costume caught the children’s attention, temporarily reducing their hyperactivity.
“We had the pancake bar with breakfast sausages and drink, and we also had a topping bar that looked more like a topping bar for an ice cream sundae,” said Molly Fretag, the senior leasing specialist with Heroes Manor, Lincoln Military Housing, MCB Camp Lejeune. “The kids went to town with the whipped cream and sprinkles.”
After the children satisfied their sweet tooth, they projected their energy to games and crafts. Parents helped them make necklaces out of Fruit Loops and spin art paintings.
“The people that live in the houses are military families, and most of them have children,” said Paige Johnson, the senior community services coordinator with Hampton Roads Region. “In this particular community, only one in four is of school age, so this event was designed for the younger kids.”
The children smiled and laughed as they played games and hung out.
The parents also shared smiles with one another, and for some it was the first chance for them to make friends, which can be difficult for military families.
“The mission of the community services program is to create a sense of community,” said Johnson. “Military families move in and move out so quickly that they don’t get to meet members in the neighborhood. These events are geared to help them meet their neighbors. Kids meet kids, and parents meet parents.”
According to Fretag, the Lincoln Military Housing area has approximately 90 families living in their homes, and more than 50 residents were able to make it to the event.
“The best part about supporting the families is actually seeing the families having fun while living in their housing community,” said Fretag. “We want to make them happy from step one, until the end of their time with us. We’re committed to serving our residents while they’re here.”
The next Heroes Manor District Clubhouse events will be a gourmet movie night and the summer opening of the pool.
For more information on the Heroes Manor District Clubhouse, call 355-0112.