Parents get a break with ‘Kids Night Out’

Lacrosse team fundraiser hosts activities for kids of all ages

Children from the Allegheny and Meadville communities gathered in the David V. Wise Center on Friday, Feb. 10 for Allegheny Women’s Lacrosse team’s fundraising event “Kid’s Night Out.”

The lacrosse team opened the doors to the blue courts from 5:30 to 6 p.m. so parents could drop their kids off for the night. The cost was $15 for a child and $5 for each additional sibling. This entry fee allowed the children access to all the various activities going on throughout the night.

“We [have] activities on the courts, swimming, arts and crafts; we have movies going on, we have concession, so it really feels like they are having a Friday night out like a big kid,” said Erin McGaffigan, women’s lacrosse assistant coach. “It also gives the parents the opportunity to have a night out, or a night in, to collect themselves and get ready for Monday.”

Many of the children who attended were from the local area around Meadville, including children of faculty and staff at Allegheny. According to McGaffigan, the team advertised through local school systems in order to reach beyond the Allegheny community.

“[We] really tried to make it public and accessible for everyone,” McGaffigan said.

The entire lacrosse team supervised and played with the children throughout the evening, organizing games such as duck, duck, goose, tag, basketball, football, soccer and general free play on the blue courts. There was also a supervised swimming portion of the evening that kids could participate in if they wanted.

Ashley Potofsky, ’17, a member of the lacrosse team, said she enjoyed interacting with her professor’s kids and seeing another side of her professors. She also enjoyed the opportunity to reach out and build relationships with the Meadville community.

“I like to allow the kids to have fun and freedom,” Potofsky said.

The event has been a consistent fundraiser for the lacrosse team for the last three years and is hosted as often as three or four times per year. The number of participants ranges between 35 and 60 children at any of the given nights out.

McGaffigan said the nights out attract regular attendees and one of her favorite aspects of the event is building relationships with kids in the community and watching the kids grow up and develop.

“We have some kids who have been really good about coming everytime, and we’ve seen them go from being very unconfident in a certain area — like swimming perhaps — and then three ‘Kid’s Night Out’ later we can’t get them out of the pool,” McGaffigan said. “You get to see the kids grow up in front of you.”

Director of Alumni Engagement Keri Fadden took her children to one of the Kids Night Out events and said that the experience was very positive.

“They had activities for a variety of age levels,” said Fadden. “They were each able to find something to do.”