Laura Silver says when it comes time for First Presbyterian Church’s Tween Bash — held four times a year — she won’t host it without at least 20 chaperones. Sometimes as many as 40 will help, because frankly, the event is massive.
“We transform our Christian Life Center into one huge place to have fun,” she says.
There is dancing with laser lights and a bubble machine, videogames, basketball, Ping-Pong, concessions, movies, bingo — the list goes on. Silver says the Bash, which will be held this year on Jan. 10, usually brings in about 250 kids. The record was 359.
“We want it to be a wholesome, fun, safe haven for kids to come to,” Silver says.
Silver is still deciding on this year’s theme, but says they try to match the food that’s served with whatever it may be. She’s also hoping to have the church’s ever-popular snow cone machine up and running.
“We’ll make snow cones until we turn into them,” she jokes.
As for the dancing, Silver says they try to encourage “group dances” with songs like the Cupid Shuffle, a usual favorite.
For the shyer kids, dancing isn’t necessary with an endless amount of ongoing options in different sections of the Christian Life Center. For the competitive bunch, Silver says the most popular game is “nine square” — like four square, except played in nine squares and played in the air, like volleyball.
“It’s very addictive,” Silver says. “Normally people who play that will be there all night — they never want to leave.
But the Bash is more than just fun and games. Each year, the money raised from the $5 tickets goes to either charity or a mission trip. In the past, the church has donated to organizations in South Africa, Haiti and even here in Iowa. In a record year, they once raised $1,500 to donate to Meals from the Heartland for hungry people in Iowa. This year, the money will go toward a Guatemala mission trip.
“Not only is (the Tween Bash) something that benefits the kids in our church,” Silver says, “but hopefully in the community and around the world.”
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