JCC’s Tour de Fun set for June 1

BY JILL KASSANDER, SPECIAL TO THE JEWISH LIGHT

The first activity of summer arrives on Sunday, June 1 when the Jewish Community Center (JCC) hosts its 18th annual Tour de Fun. The event will be held on the JCC Creve Coeur Campus from 10:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. and is expected to attract more than 3,000 people.

The family friendly annual event is open to families from throughout in the greater St. Louis area and is known for its interactive activities and entertainment and the wide variety of vehicles available for young children to explore. There will be over 30 vehicles this year including: a helicopter, motorcycles, a fire truck, ambulance, utility trucks, and limousine, antique and luxury cars. Families will also be able to enjoy a petting zoo, train rides, the mascots from the River City Rascals and River City Rage, pony rides, remote control cars, large inflatables, arts and crafts, balloon artists, entertainers and more.

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One of the unique aspects of the event is the all-dad volunteer committee which plans the festivities. Co-chairs Creighton Cohn and Eddie Weinhaus acknowledged the group does not have typical committee meetings. Often they have their meetings at fun places such as: Nascar Speedpark, Demolition Ball, SkyZone, and the JCC Marilyn Fox Building.

Cohn said the committee tried to bring in more unusual vehicles and some different activities this year.

“Our J liaison, Susie, really loves the event and has helped us create a really great program this year,” Cohn said.

JCC Tour de Fun staff coordinator Susie Sachs said there are many new additions to the event this year.

“Tour de Fun is for young children up through fifth grade,” Sachs said. “We are very excited about some of the new activities this year which will appeal to the children at those upper ages.”

Some of those new activities include: building and launching straw rockets with the Challenger Learning Center, an interactive music experience with Dave Simon’s School of Rock and a performance by Zeda’s Beat Box. Kennelwood Pet Resorts is bringing their bow wow bus with a dog trainer and dog, Abra-Kid-Abra will be performing and teaching circus stunts and Center of Contemporary Arts Hip Hop Dancers will perform as well. The biggest new major addition is a 25-foot rock climbing wall from Upper Limits.

Both co-chairs have enjoyed being on the committee and are looking forward to seeing the tangible results of their work.

Cohn said he was grabbed a few years ago to participate in the committee by another father and now tries to encourage other fathers to get involved. The father of two young children, Cohn said his daughter loves carnivals but often she’s not big enough for many of the rides.

“At Tour de Fun she can do everything,” Cohn said. “That’s the key. We make sure each activity does not exclude the younger kids.”

Weinhaus moved back to the St. Louis two years ago after a long absence from the area and is the father of four young children. He considers himself “all J” having gone to the pre-school, camps, after school activities and working there.

“At Tour de Fun, everything is in one place, at one price,” Weinhaus said. “You can have as much fun as you want for as long as you want.”

Each paid child’s admission will receive a $5 gift card to Build-A-Bear Workshop and a $10 gift card to My Gym. For more information go to www.tourdefun.com or contact Susie Sachs at 314-442-3129.