20 youth activity day 1

Amaya Wright, 5, tries on firefighter gear during Youth Activity Day at the Joseph A. Nelson Community Center in Suisun City, Saturday. Kids were entertained with bouncy houses, games and a clown. (Aaron Rosenblatt/Daily Republic)

Solano County

Alooma Temple keeps children in mind

By From page A3 | April 20, 2014

SUISUN CITY — There was an abundance of activities for the children at Heritage Park Saturday thanks to a local fraternity organization that keeps kids in mind.

Alooma Temple No. 212 hosted its annual Youth Activity Day next to the Joseph A. Nelson Community Center where dozens of children got to romp ahead of the Easter holiday. If four bounce houses weren’t enough, children could wait for a visit with a clown tying balloon animals or have their faces painted before facing off in an egg hunt. Some boys were satisfied playing hoops on the basketball court.

“We try to make it a day for youth,” said Larry Hill Sr., Illustrious Potentate of Alooma Temple, a Masonry branch based in downtown Suisun City.

In its 17th year, the temple’s Easter event has hopped around Vacaville, Fairfield and Suisun City but stayed at the park for the past three years, said James Britt Jr., director of veterans affairs.

“It started out as a little Easter egg hunt . . . and has grown into a fun day,” Britt said.

Brooklyn Hill, 5, was waiting to slide on the “U.S. Fire Department” bounce house. The Fairfield girl with a butterfly painted on her face was having a good time.

“Me and my brother went to the ice cream man,” she said.

One child who wasn’t in attendance was 7-year-old Taliyah Sweeting, a cheerleader with the NorthBay Panthers Youth Sports Organization. She was diagnosed with cancer last week and started chemotherapy Saturday at Oakland Children’s Hospital, said Natalie Belk, business manager of the Panthers.

Representatives were raising awareness about the young patient at a table, informing visitors that donations in Taliyah’s name could be made on Gofundme.com. The girl’s parents, Irving and Maryrose of Vacaville, are involved with the Panthers organization, which offers activities such as youth football, track and field and traveling baseball.

“(It’s a) bad situation, I couldn’t believe it,” said John Lemelle, president of the Panthers. “(I) hope everything goes alright.”

Reach Adrienne Harris at 427-6956 or [email protected] Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/aharrisdr.

Adrienne Harris

Adrienne Harris

Adrienne joined the Daily Republic in September 2009. She earned her journalism degree at the University of Florida in 2005 and has worked at newspapers in Fort Pierce, Fla.; Las Cruces, N.M.; and El Paso, Texas.

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