Fun-Mobile Allows for Recreation Anywhere in Cape Coral
Mar 30, 2018 12:33PM ● Published by Kevin
"There's a need in the city for additional recreation, especially on the north end," said youth center/skate park manager Mark Cagle. "Part of that master plan is to bring recreation up to the north and expand recreation for the whole city. This is an opportunity to bring recreation wherever we want."
According to the parks and recreation website, children will have the chance to create unique art projects, play a game of basketball or soccer with a Cape Coral Police Officer or Lee County Sheriff, all in a fun and safe environment.
The Fun-Mobile is a result of a partnership between the Cape Coral Parks & Recreation department, along with the Sheriff's Youth Activities League (SYAL) and Cape Coral Police Department (PAL). Parks and Recreation staff along with SYAL and PAL will provide positive role models for participants by reinforcing good sportsmanship and outdoor activities.
"We have some really great partners," Cagle added.
The sheriff's league particularly donated the entire solar power system and awning. They are also sending volunteers to help out at events. PAL is also sending volunteers. For now, the Cape Coral Police Department will have officers volunteering at events. The goal is to have one parks person to operate the van and a second volunteer to help with setting up and administering games and activities.
Interested volunteers must pass a background check, as they'll be working with kids. Volunteers can work a couple days a week, but don't have to come out every time.
"If you like working with kids, it's a perfect opportunity," Cagle said.
The Fun-Mobile was already a part of Cape Coral's fleet. After its conversion, it is now completely powered by the sun. Furnished with solar panels, the Fun-Mobile can go anywhere and participants can even listen to music. It has built-in shelving, which stores hundreds of games for activities, including arts and crafts and sports. It also contains a built-in awning and tables in the back.
"I thought it was neat," Cagle said. "We have plenty of sun in Florida. It's powerful enough that you can run a full-sized refrigerator in your house on it. So, you have an opportunity to roll up anywhere and do anything. When we do an event, we don't have to worry about anything. You flip a button and the whole thing has regular, household power."
In addition, families will have a chance to register for camps and classes at the Fun-Mobile during select events using a new mobile registration system.
"A lot of times, we go to major events and you hand someone the program guide and they say, 'How do I sign up?'" Cagle said. "The response is, 'Well, you can go to any of our locations to signup for whatever you want to do.' Now, we'll sign you up on the spot and take payments right there. So, if you see something you like, we can take that registration right there. When this comes out to major events, we'll have the mobile registration and offer discounts on select programs. You can get a discount and a receipt right away."
The Fun-Mobile's first event is Touch a Truck, which is a fundraiser taking place on April 7, in support of EHL Fragile X Foundation. Kids of all ages can climb, discover, and explore their favorite things on wheels. This is the third year the event is taking place. The event takes place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., located on Lafayette Street running between Cape Coral Street and surrounding areas. That night, the Fun-Mobile will visit Jaycee Park for the movie night in the park.
From June 4 to July 27 (except Fourth of July), in cooperation with the USDA and Summer Break Spot, the Fun-Mobile will provide a nutritious lunch at no cost to children up to age 18 while school is out for the summer. The lunches are offered Monday through Friday, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Jim Jeffers Park. There will be games and music, each day, as well.
"There are a lot of kids and families that can't afford food once the food program stops at the schools," Cagle said.
The Fun-Mobile can also be booked for parties, such as birthday celebrations at Cape Coral's parks. Overall, Cagle and the team are optimistic about the joy it will bring to the community.
"We're excited about it," he said. "We've always wanted to go out in the community, especially in the north region, and this is an opportunity to do that. You'll see it a lot. It's going to provide recreation where it doesn't exist and enhance it where it already does."
For more information on the Fun-Mobile and a schedule of upcoming events, visit the parks and recreation department's website. For more information on volunteering, contact the Cape Coral Police Department.