Children of all ages clamored up the steps to the third floor of the Long Island City YMCA to enjoy an array of activities from bouncy houses to circus routines at the second annual Everything Kids Expo.
More than 1,000 parents and children attended Sunday’s event, which promoted a healthy lifestyle while still having fun.
“The extraordinary turnout at our first-ever Long Island City YMCA location for the Everything Kids Expo was wall-to-wall,” said Victoria Schneps, president, CEO and publisher of The Queens Courier, presenting sponsor of the event. “Amy Amato, leading our team, provided the community with fun and information, and they obviously loved every minute of it. The Long Island City YMCA was a great partner for us.”
Children were able to get their faces painted at Frankie’s Carnival Time or learn some new dance moves while parents found out more information about summer camp opportunities, health coverage, sports and more.
“We’re here to promote our youth activities and bring the community together,” said Jonathan Imperial, the senior program director at the YMCA.
Eric Pichardo, 24, and his son Emmanuel enjoyed all the activities, but especially liked the face painting because Emmanuel was able to get a Spiderman web around his eye.
“It’s a good way to have Emmanuel interact with kids and get out of the house and away from the TV,” said Pichardo.
Raffle prizes were drawn throughout the five-hour event and included passes to a local gym, Big Apple Circus tickets, tickets to see the Mets and a grand prize trip to Cancún.
But it wasn’t all fun and games. Companies like Fidelis Care, which offers affordable health coverage, was on site to inform parents about their insurance options, and NY Life Insurance provided free ID cards for children.
Andrew Quinceno, who has been a personal trainer at the Long Island City YMCA since 2009, said that events like the Everything Kids Expo showcase what the YMCA is all about — youth development, social responsibility and healthy living.
“The YMCA is here for everyone,” said Quinceno, 26. “It’s one size fits all.”
Colleen Berga and her family won a six-month Queens-wide membership the YMCA of Greater New York. Colleen ecstatically proclaimed, “This is a such a great opportunity for my daughter. We fell into some hard times and I never thought I would be able to give my daughter anything like this. All she talks about is the Y!
The event was sponsored CITYMD, PM Pediatrics, Fidelis Care, Health Plus Amerigroup, Frankie’s Carnival Time and Big Apple Circus. Watch for the next Everything Kids Expo on June 29 at the Brooklyn Aviator Sports Center.