Welcome Back to Fortress

Families wait in line to cash in their points for new school supplies.

Families wait in line to cash in their points for new school supplies.

It's back to school time in Texas! And y'all know what that means -- it's also Back 2 School Bash time at Fortress YDC! This year, Fortress opened its door and invited the whole neighborhood to come enjoy food and games on a hot summer evening last Friday, August 21st. We welcomed 200 people onto our block for a night of fun and celebration!

Kids were given activity cards that they had to complete by playing games, like digging for buried treasure and carefully (or not so carefully in this heat!) tossing water balloons, and fun things like dunking various Fortress staff members in the dunk tank, face painting, and taking pictures in the photo booth. There was also a scavenger hunt to identify the different staff members at Fortress, from the Big Boss (hint: Terri) to the only man on staff (hint: Ethan).

Each completed activity was worth points, and the points could be redeemed for school supplies, generously donated by Wells Fargo Dealer Services Fort Worth office, Legacy Church of Christ young professionals, The Hills Church singles group, Michele and Ed Newmeyer, Carrie Dressler, Connie Blaylock, and Leslie Cave. At the end of the night, all of the kiddos attending Fortress this year were also gifted with brand new backpacks full of grade-appropriate school supplies from the good folks at Lakeside Church of Christ so that they would be all set to start school the following Monday. Families were also given tickets when they signed in that they could exchange for all kinds of yummy things like sno-cones, Raising Cane's chicken fingers, pizza and popcorn. 

In addition to all the hard work by the dedicated Fortress staff, the event was a big success thanks to several volunteer groups. A HUGE thanks goes out to the Gary Patterson Foundation for underwriting the cost of the event, and to the many groups who took the time (and in some cases, made quite a drive!) to bring food and man our carnival-style food booths, including the youth groups from St. Jo, Decatur and Henrietta Churches of Christ, our friends at Wells Fargo, the always amazing grill master Spencer Thompson, our faithful friends Linda and Everett Hoover, Legacy young professionals, The Hills singles, our neighbors Mrs. Renfro's Salsa, the generous and friendly folks at Raising Cane's, and our 2015-16 team of Junior League Fort Worth volunteers who jumped right in to their first event of the year. We hope all of our friends and neighbors had as much fun as we did and that everyone's first day of school was a blast! Welcome back to Fortress Youth Development Center for another great year!

It was a gorgeous evening for an outdoor event!

It was a gorgeous evening for an outdoor event!

Ta'Niya shows off her brand new backpack.

Ta'Niya shows off her brand new backpack.

Jocelyn and her daughters, all Fortress students, posed for the photo booth

Jocelyn and her daughters, all Fortress students, posed for the photo booth