Happy House at the 4th Annual Children’s Day Celebration, September 17, 2011

Oct 4, 2011

Children’s Day 2011 was a huge success! And I am proud to say that the Happy House sponsored Arts and Entertainment Village was a resounding victory! Of the roughly 4000 kids that did crafts in our Arts and Crafts tent – created once again by the fabulous Bobbi Brunhoehler – I can’t even imagine how many kids (and parents) we made fabulous paper hats for or how many custom fans kids made to stay cool (in more ways than one). We also had our Good Choices booth offering an insight into our Good Choices program and signing families up for some cool free raffles.

Two show-stoppers this year that the kids really loved were our Green Screen LAPD Motorcycle ride and our Storytelling Stage. Irfan Merchant and his IBC Mobile Motion team set up the green screen and kids had a ball sitting on a genuine LAPD motorcycle and seeing themselves race along an LA freeway. Meanwhile, our storytelling stage went over amazingly well. Personally, I had the pleasure of joining in on improvisation with the Guerilla Theatre Troupe and then I told stories to a crowd of smiling faces. We had some fantastic celebrity guests join us to read to the kids, including Jack McGee (he got an Academy Award nomination for his role in “The Fighter”), Jesse Snider (star of “Growing Up Twisted” and son of rock star Dee Snider), Josh Keaton (the voice of “Spiderman”) and lots more.

NBC’s Fritz Coleman hosted this 4th Annual Children’s Day Celebration at Woodley Park in Sherman Oaks on Saturday September 17. Put on by the LAPD and the Anti-gang Coalition, the park was filled with tens of thousands of smiling faces. Families enjoyed all the amazing festivities which included celebrities signing autographs, including Booboo Stewart from Twilight, Grace Phipps from ABC Family’s Nine Lives of Chloe King, Mathew St. Patrick from Six Feet Under, Adam Irigoyen from Disney Channel’s Shake It Up, Rico Rodriguez from Modern Family, and his sister Raini Rodriguez from Paul Blart Mall Cop, Nolan Gould from Modern Family, and there were lots of performances both on the main stage and on the Disney Radio stage. Other special guests included police captains, the fire captain, our local Councilman Mitch Englander, and others. Taped messages included a greeting from Mayor Villaraigosa.

There were also police cars, fire engines, police on horseback, lots of food trucks, and carnival rides.

This was truly a gift to the city of Los Angeles and the families and Children of this community. Throughout the day you saw children experiencing the thrill of sitting on a police motorcycle, kids making all kinds of magical creations, and most importantly, kids and parents alike learning about opportunities and safeguards from police officers, gang prevention experts and others at booths that covered most of the enormous park.

All in all this was a memorable day. Hats off to the hundreds of volunteers and staff of all the organization that made this happen.

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