Fortress Gives Thanks

Rachel Yurek is serving in her 2nd year on our Junior League volunteer team as our photographer/blogger.

London and her mentor's daughter, also named London, worked together to build a parachute for their egg!

London and her mentor's daughter, also named London, worked together to build a parachute for their egg!

Let's talk some turkey, y'all! Last Friday, November 13th, we gathered for a Gobble Gobble Get Together with yummy frito chili pie, Thanksgiving trivia, and getting to know you games. This event brings together our families, mentors and staff for the purpose of building community here at Fortress.  The first game of the night was People Bingo, with each square containing an attribute or statement like "left-handed" or "doesn't like chocolate". The crowd really got to mixing and mingling as kids and adults alike scrambled to find someone in the room that fit each square.

The biggest hit of the evening, however, was the egg drop competition! Teams were each given a bag of supplies -- magazines, foil, plastic cups, pipe cleaners, tape, etc. -- and 20 minutes to design a structure capable of protecting a raw egg from impact. Ms. Dani pulled out Fortress's tallest ladder and bravely climbed all the way to the top, just to drop these egg-cellent creations onto the hard concrete floor! Gabriel's team was the first to successfully design an egg-safe cushion, following by three more innovative and effective designs. I think we found some future engineers! The ones that went splat were pretty fun to watch, too. Maybe next year we should put some newspaper on the floor first, though!

The evening was capped off with deliveries of graham crackers, marshmallow fluff, Hershey bars and Reese's cups to each table so everyone could enjoy making s'mores together! As families headed out the door, Junior League volunteers and Fortress staff members started stacking chairs and wiping down tables. One of our after-school students, Gabriel, and his grandma very generously stayed to help with clean up. Gabriel said he was happy to help because he comes to Fortress every day and he loves it so much. Gabriel, we are glad you are thankful for Fortress and we sure are thankful for you!

We hope everyone has a safe and happy Thanksgiving, and we're looking forward to getting together again next month for our Christmas party!

Volunteer Steffon helps some kids complete their People Bingo

Volunteer Steffon helps some kids complete their People Bingo

The Aldridge family and Reyonna's mentor, Margot, successfully protected their egg from busting!

The Aldridge family and Reyonna's mentor, Margot, successfully protected their egg from busting!

Isabel, her family, and her mentor, Cristina, were the last team to have a successful egg drop.

Isabel, her family, and her mentor, Cristina, were the last team to have a successful egg drop.

Janessa (EJ and Elan's mom) talks to Mr. Roy and one of our mentors, Katie.

Janessa (EJ and Elan's mom) talks to Mr. Roy and one of our mentors, Katie.

Gabriel, his family, and his mentor Bo celebrate their egg drop victory.

Gabriel, his family, and his mentor Bo celebrate their egg drop victory.

Ms. Dani conquered her fear of heights to drop the eggs all the way from the ceiling!

Ms. Dani conquered her fear of heights to drop the eggs all the way from the ceiling!