Marco Island’s finest show off their hula hoop skills. SUBMITTED PHOTOS


The countdown is over, summer is here!

“Every year we celebrate the beginning of summer,” said Lola Dial, Teen Center Recreation Leader for the City of Marco Island.

This celebration is Marco’s annual Teen Beach Bash on South Beach, put on by the City’s Parks and Recreation Department. Lola runs the event, free for kids grades six through twelve. Samantha Malloy, Special Events Coordinator and Pat Kuhn, Parks Maintenance, for the City’s Parks and Recreation Department were on hand to help with the event.

Lola tells


Friends Francesca Rose and Gaby Pernice enjoy the Teen Beach Bash.

us that in the past the number of teens attending had declined because the event took place on the last day of school, coinciding with eighth grade graduation preparations. She said they needed to “try something new” this year, so they changed the party date to Saturday, May 30. For most of the kids, school ends on Wednesday, June 3.

Activities included volleyball, tug-of-war, hula hoops, dancing and cornhole. Pizza, cookies and refreshments were provided.

Attendance was lower than hoped for, but the kids (and


DJ Chris Hogenson plays dance music.

adults) who attended still had fun. Most of the kids who came stayed cool in the water.

Incoming sixth graders Francesca Rose and Gaby Pernice enjoyed playing volleyball and cornhole. Gaby’s dad Sal Pernice is a Marco Island police officer. Francesca’s mother, Deneen Rose, works at Marco Island Academy. The girls say they came to “hang out, talk and eat pizza.” They will be starting their first year of middle school this fall at Marco Island Charter Middle School (MICMS).

Seventh graders, Susan Linn and


Staying cool under the tent at the Teen Beach Bash.

Kelsey Cashin, enjoyed the pizza. Susan attended last year’s party as well. They both danced and swam. They say they are looking forward to starting eighth grade at MICMS in the fall.

Entertainment Source DJ Chris Hogenson played popular dance songs by Iggy Azalea and Cupid, among others. Lola and Samantha jumped in with two of the girls for the Cupid Shuffle. The new police beach patrol jeep was there, as well as a few Marco Island officers and firemen. Everyone enjoyed the officers’ demonstration of the hula hoops.

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