Families flock to JCC’s Tour de Fun

BY MIKE SHERWIN, STAFF WRITER

Beautiful weather provided a sunny setting for the Jewish Community Center’s 17th Annual Tour de Fun on Sunday.

With around 2,500 people attending the event, Rabbi Brad Horwitz, director of the Helene Mirowitz Department of Jewish Life at the JCC, said the Tour de Fun drew more people than in years past, which he attributed to the weather, the pre-event publicity, and the efforts of event staff and volunteers.

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Susie Sachs, coordinator of the Tour de Fun, said that while the final fundraising totals are not yet in, the event received a record $17,000 in corporate sponsorships, including major donations from Build-A-Bear Workshop and Imagery Marketing Consultants.

Sachs said she worked with a committee of fathers, led by co-chairs Jeff Schmitz and John Barris, to plan and run the event.

Dan and Sue Ellen Berglund came to the event with their two children, Joseph, 5, and Lucia, 3. “Our kids had swim lessons at the J, so we just got lucky and happened upon it. But, we’re glad because the kids are loving it,” Sue Ellen Berglund said.

Families browsed a variety of activity booths, inflatable attractions, caricaturists, a petting zoo and a main stage with entertainers and a martial arts demonstration. However, according to kids at the event, a few areas were of particular note.

“I liked the swing ride and the radio controlled cars the best,” said Andrew Kaiser, 9. His brother, Adam, 4, said he liked climbing into the cockpit of the large construction equipment on display and the inflatable climbing wall.

As for Sachs, she said that while she had to work, her husband and brother escorted her kids, Jessica, 2, and Rebecca, 5, who “absolutely loved it.”

Sachs said planning is already underway for the 18th Annual Tour de Fun, which will take place June 1, 2008.