|PICNIC AT SEAWORLD, June 26, 2008
Some of the 51 children and 57 adults — 100-percent paticipation! — who participated in the SCAIR Urban TANF family event at Seaworld took a picture with Shivers, a seven-foot polar bear live character, during the picnic at Seaworld.
by Roy Cook, Opata-Oodham, Mazopiye Wishasha: Writer, Singer, Speaker
Bright, breezy, beautiful Thursday June 26, 2008 at the San Diego world class attraction Seaworld. By noon most of the Urban Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, TANF participants have picked up their tickets and are in the tide of the crowds in the park scattered to the ebb and flow of the attractions and thousands of visitors.
A new Shamu fan poses for a picture with baby Shamu.
The picnic at Seaworld is sponsored and coordinated by Southern California American Indian Resource Center, SCAIR, which both administers and participates in partnership affiliations with the Urban Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, TANF services.
SCAIR administration and learning center is located in Alpine. Under the direction of Wanda Michaelis, Executive Director of Southern California American Indian Resource Center, SCAIR and Vickie Gambala, Antoinette and Melissa Aleman, were part of the team in charge of the groups picnic.
TANF families enjoy the Journey to Atlantis water ride at Seaworld in San Diego.
The journey to Atlantis splash ride is very popular with the young and not so young too. This ride is just around the corner of the Polar bear plaza but more on that later. Also close by is the pets stadium and the wild artic encounter, as well as Shamu, Sesame Street, sharks, sea lions and otters, dolphins and the sky tower ride.
Seaworld Dolphin Show.
Seaworld's famous clydesdale horses.
All through the Seaworld park there is too much to see. What a wonder of cultures, kids, languages, kids, international regalia, kids, gulls and touristy beach apparel.
So about 4:30- 45 pm TANF folks start to gather at the Garden Plaza west. Vickie Gambala and her team check off participants and Gary Ballard, CALIE-SCAIR photographer and Webmaster poses some of the folks there for family portraits while we wait for the 5:30 buffet. The Garden Plaza provides refreshing open-air access to a lovely garden setting. The indoor/outdoor feature offers weather security with a high-vaulted ceiling. The picnic at Seaworld and Buffet dinner is underwritten by a special grant from the Southern California Tribal Chairman’s Association.
The children are loudly describing the things they have seen and that they need to go to the bathroom now! A few are smearing their face painting with tears of weariness. It does feel good to just sit for a while and look around at the happy faces. Forty-five or more of the hundred attending are here now. Most of the happy faces are looking toward the buffet tables and smelling the ribs.
This was a picnic and a day to remember, with adventure and laughs and a wonderful meal with friends. The special pricing included an all-day admission, a private picnic location, an all-you-can-eat buffet, a costume character visit, parking and all tax and gratuities. There are a wide variety of menu items including hot dogs, barbecue ribs, beans and baked chicken. There is also a magnificent selection of salads and fabulous white frosted cake.
Later, Laura, a Seaworld representative said we would soon be having a special visitor. Strolling over to the pavilion is Seven feet tall white Polar Bear with a blue muffler. This is the featured costume character. The bear circulated and posed for pictures with the children.
SHIVERS Polar Bear photos at Sea World:
The kids were wary at first of Shivers the bear. Then the kids are excited and overly familiar with ‘their’ bear. Then the bear sat in a chair and I thought I heard, “Who’s been sitting in my chair?” But, at my age, sometimes I don’t hear too well. Finally there was just too much for the bear to bear and it shuffled off and barely made it out of the area.
I tell you, it was just too much fun for one heart to bear....
Some of the kids are winding down and may need a nap soon. Maybe the adults will get a chance to catch a ride or two since the park stays open until 11 at night.
SPECIAL THANK YOU to SeaWorld Adventure Parks in San Diego, Southern California American Indian Resource Center SCAIR and Urban Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families TANF staff.
ALSO VERY SPECIAL THANK YOU to Southern California Tribal Chairman’s Association SCTCA whose financial generosity sponsored this family event.
TRIBAL URBAN TANIF NATIVE FAMILES:
All of the 51 children and 57 adults who signed up and RSVP for this summer event came to Seaworld and participated in the fun. These happy family groups are only a fraction of the adult and children who participated.
We hope to see each other at many more of these happy events with good food, good company and a great time together, Mehan –Aho - thank you.
Antoinette Aleman, Norma Lopez, Melissa Aleman, Vickie Gambala.
Seaworld story by Roy Cook, CALIE journalist.
Back to Roy Cook's Articles page.
SEAWORLD DOLPHIN SHOW PICTURES:
The photographer ended up in the dolphin theater for the 1:30 Dolphin Show waiting for Shamu to show (and missed Shamu's 1:30 show in Shamu Stadium) — so enjoy the Seaworld dolphin pictures.
HIGH-RESOLUTION DIGITAL PHOTO WEDDING POSTER:
CLICK to see our 24x48-inch family TANF event poster.