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Lakewood to throw end-of-summer bash

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  • | 4:00 a.m. August 26, 2009
  • East County
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LAKEWOOD RANCH — East County families have one last chance to splash away the summer and welcome in the new school year.

Lakewood Ranch Community Activities will host its annual free Back to School Splash Bash event from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Aug. 29, at the Lakewood Ranch YMCA, 5100 Lakewood Ranch Blvd.

“This is the last summer celebration before the kids have to buckle down and start studying for the new school year,” event organizer Lori Basilone said. “It’s for all families with school-age children.”

Activities will include swimming activities for prizes, a 25-foot inflatable waterslide, a dunk tank and Slip ’n Slide. The YMCA also will set up Skate Jam for children wishing to test out their skateboarding skills.

Explore Some More Children’s Museum also will be on site with a bubbles exhibit. Community organizations will be offering free sno-cones and watermelon to guests, but attendees also can purchase a lunch of either a hot dog or hamburger with chips and a drink for $5. Pre-registration for meal tickets is recommended, but not necessary, Basilone said.

Recommended items to bring include a swimsuit, a towel, water shoes, sunscreen, a skateboard and helmet and lawn chairs. Attendees also are asked to donate a new or gently used children’s book, which will go to the Manatee Food Bank’s Royalty for Reading program.

“We’re really hoping that folks will take the time to dig through to find something they have or buy (a book),” Basilone said.

Event organizers are expecting 500 children — about twice as many as year’s past when the event was held at the Lakewood Ranch Athletic Center.

“(Using the YMCA) really gives us room to grow,” Basilone said. “We’re expecting a good crowd.”

Basilone said she has been advertising the event through Twitter. Those interested in attending can follow her updates by typing “LWRCAC.”

Contact Pam McTeer at [email protected].

WHEN: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Aug. 29
WHERE: Lakewood Ranch YMCA, 5100 Lakewood Ranch Blvd.
COST: Free; an optional $5 lunch is available. Pre-registration for lunch is recommended.
WHAT TO BRING: Swimsuit, a towel, water shoes, sunscreen, a skateboard and helmet and lawn chairs
OTHER: Donations of new or gently used children’s books are being collected for charity. Children ages 13 and younger must be accompanied by an adult.
INFORMATION: 907-0202, Ext. 224