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HomeNewsArchives'Are Ye Ready, Kids?' SpongeBob and Friends Entertain for Fun, Charity

'Are Ye Ready, Kids?' SpongeBob and Friends Entertain for Fun, Charity

Feb. 11, 2007 — The newly renovated Sunny Isle amphitheater was filled past its 178-seat capacity this weekend as children of all ages got their first taste of things to come at the big island's oldest shopping center.
When SpongeBob SquarePants made his appearance, the crowd went wild, singing on key and on time to every word of the yellow sponge's theme song. "They're excited," said Grandma Rita, who brought her 10-year old grandson out to see the show. "It's fantastic, because on Saturdays the kids have nothing to do. Now they have a place they can come where they’re seated and in the shade."
The Saturday afternoon was dubbed "A Valentine's Family Fun Day." The center's promotional director, Caron Roberts, said the day was organized so the shopping center could thank its patrons. "We wanted to find a way to give back to the community," she said. "We decided to invite the people who patronize the shopping center to enjoy themselves while they are here."
Red, purple, yellow and green balloons waved in the air as children with painted faces laughed at Joseph the Magician and Illusionist's tricks and sang along with Dora the Explorer. Children stood patiently in line for free balloons and small teddy bears, with older siblings standing alongside younger ones who may have been a little timid next to the brightly colored Vivi the Clown. Three-year-old Kitten Clercent sat patiently while Vivi drew a pink flower on her face to match her pink outfit.
Not far from the helium tanks and Vivi's art show, the Court Appointed Special Advocates of the V.I. took donations. According to CASA Director Gail Sheaer, the agency's annual "Pennies from Heaven" drive culminates in a fun day similar to the center's event, so it was only natural for the two to get together. Advocates speak up in court to ensure that children who have been traumatized by abuse and neglect will have their needs identified and addressed, and receive the services necessary to restore their basic human needs, according to the CASA website.
CASA has conducted its "pennies" drive for the past four years, asking the community to match the donations of businesses in the community. This year CASA hopes to match the $25,000 donated by Hovensa and Drury Capital. Sheaer expressed pleasure with the way the day was unfolding. Any day where healthy family activities are showcased is a positive one, and a step closer to helping CASA help those in need, she said.
Seven-year-old Jeremiah Setorie was most excited about contributing to the drive, according to his mother. "He was so enthused to bring in the pennies he collected," she said. Jeremiah was so excited he couldn't pinpoint his favorite thing Saturday afternoon. Instead, he jumped a little and exclaimed that he was enjoying "Everything!"
Seven- and nine-year-old sisters Zhania and Izhaneeh Deterville said they enjoyed the magic show most. Their friend, 10-year-old Desha Anderson, contemplated whether to get her face painted, acknowledging she was having a good time. For eight-year-old Brianna Webster, it was just fun to see it all.
"I wish Sunny Isles was like this all the time," she said.
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