Local Teens Converge at Annual CAFY Celebration

Food, fun, and games are headed back to Huntsville as the second annual Community Awareness for Youth event is set to take place from 10:00 AM – 2:00PM on August 18 at the Jaycees Fairground. Targeted for kids in grades seven through twelve, the event is open to families of all ages and free to the public.

“Our target market is kids in seventh through twelfth grade, ages 12 to 18,” said CAFY director Dr. Harry Hobbs of the Huntsville Police Department. “But we want the entire family to come, ages one to 99. Anyone can come and go through the Pillars of Success, but only the youth in that age group will be able to register for the drawings.”

This year will have even more food, giveaways, music, and contests than last year’s festivities, which drew a crowd of more than 2,000 kids. Hobbs hopes to top that number this year. Teens will have the chance to register at the door to receive numerous prizes, including U.S. Space and Rocket Center passes. CAFY’s goal is to have youth attend from all areas of the city so that they can become more informed about their futures and build relationships that will foster a positive environment for their success.

The climbing wall is just one of many activities!

The endeavor began as an effort to inform Huntsville’s youth about the “Four Pillars of Success” – health, physical fitness, career, and education. “This event was based off of trying to reach out to our community,” said Hobbs. “Police Chief Mark Hudson wanted to see what we could do for our youth so that they would understand that the city of Huntsville and the police department care about them and their future.”

Middle and high school students will make their way through 80 booths where they will learn more about various career opportunities in a multitude of fields, including: military, health/medical, professional, law enforcement, and more. In addition to receiving general information about the chosen field, individuals will have the chance to hear a keynote guest speaker for each of the pillars. The speaker will offer personal insights on becoming successful by incorporating the respective pillar into everyday life.

“We are hoping that this will help foster a positive environment so they can see that the city cares about them and see what we have to offer so that they can be more successful,” said Hobbs.

Many area businesses have donated money and items, as well as set up booths on-site to show their support for the CAFY and the city’s youth, such as Landers-McLarty, who donated 500 backpacks filled with school supplies to be passed out to the first 500 qualifying students.

Attendees can expect to enjoy free food and soft drinks, as well as prizes and a variety of family-oriented activities, such as a rock-climbing wall, dance contests, martial arts demonstrations, and many other games. Other activities that will be on site is a H3 and video gaming system booth and inflatable bounce houses.

Slated to provide music for the event are the bands Crossfire and AMC’s Raw Materiel. Live radio DJ Toni Terrell of 94.1 FM will also be on hand playing everyone’s favorite tunes. Free popcorn, cotton candy, and snow cones will also be available and live demonstrations will be offered by the Huntsville Police Department and the Army.

Distinguished citizens from the area will also be present talking to the youth, as well. The list of these guests include: Mayor Battle, Mayor Finley, Chief Morris, Sheriff Dorning, Chief Muncey, CSM Glidewell of AMCOM, Councilman Olshefski, Commissioner Chairmen Gillespie, Commissioner Harrison, BG Feehan of the Air Force, COL. Hamilton, and incoming AMCOM commander MG Collyar.

While numerous items and donations have been received, CAFY is still taking food and drink items, such as cookout items like hamburgers, hot dogs, buns, drinks, chips, condiments, napkins, paper plates, bottled water, and desserts. Any donations for free items or tickets to be used as giveaways for the teenagers are also requested. Contact them via Facebook or by calling Dr. Hobbs at 256-427-7043.