Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Westborough Patch

This afternoon I was on twitter (yes I know I have been very sporadic in my tweets) but I was on twitter and noticed one of the suggestions for me to follow was Westborough Patch.  Since I am always looking for local updates and information sources I figured I would check it out.  I had not heard of "Patch" before.


Ok so maybe I missed a memo that Westborough Patch was launching, but I am busy sometimes... I have to say, I am very impressed at this new online news site.  Seems to have regular updates, Westborough news and events, and from what I have read lots of great information.  There is also a Northborough Patch as well.

The sites are simple and easy to navigate.  There are also matching Facebook pages and twitter accounts for each site.  Their coverage of the Polar Plunge was solid and overall the only thing I would say is not appealing to me is that Patch as a company is owned by AOL.  Sure I use AIM like so many others, but the last time I thought of AOL I was using one of their cds as a drink coaster.

I hope AOL has learned from some of their past endeavors and keeps Patch fresh and not overly bogged down with ads and bots.  I think there is a lot of potential for a strong corporate funded journalistic team that focused on digital media.  Something with funding that can allow local journalists to be proud and promote the local community.

To speculate for a minute, I think there is a lot of opportunity for really interesting social media interconnections blending online and real world experiences and interactions.  It is the next logical step in the digital media space.  It is possible that a site like patch operating nationally (and even globally) but focused locally can be a way to organize and encourage these connections.  We'll see...I actually teach a graduate course  on new media technologies and how to integrate them.  At least I need to add Patch to some of my lectures and we can see how it plays out.

Monday, December 13, 2010

A Refreshing Plunge

My wife definitely understands me... she called on Friday during my commute to see if I had noticed the DPW sign in the traffic circle promoting the Polar Plunge.  :-)

I had not seen the sign yet, but I was aware of the Polar Plunge and to no ones surprise I was hoping to participate in the event.  As soon as I arrived home I sent a mail over to the organizers of the event that I was also interested in acting ridiculous and running into Lake Chauncy after it was already frozen.

On Saturday afternoon, armed with my camera, I went over to Lake Chauncy to meet some of the other plungers and cool off in the lake.  The event included a bonfire, snacks, and performances from local a capella talent.  Then of course there were the plungers.  Along with bathing suit plungers there was an assortment of costumes at the event; T-shirts promoting local businesses, grass skirts, homemade gladiator hats, life-jackets with shoes attached, and even a master's degree cap and gown took turns running into cold water.  There wasn't a lot of swimming as organizers of the plunge only removed the 4 inch think ice from a small section of the lake but everyone plunged for a good cause.

The event is small, only a couple dozen or so plungers, but there are a bunch of spectators and the atmosphere was great.  Local people supporting a local cause.  The sound system was not super conducive for the singers, but for a capella groups each person needs to have a mic or it is hard to hear how great the voices sound.  Here are some of the photos I got at the event.

This event is only in it's second year, I am sure it will become bigger and bigger as it continues.  The Polar Plunge raises money for "In Your Shoes Westborough".  From their literature:

In Your Shoes Mission & Goals
The mission of In Your Shoes is to make a difference in our community by contributing time, talents and monetary resources to provide assistance and financial support to local people in need. In essence, we represent an investment in our Westborough community, as we foster and advocate volunteerism to contribute to the health and well being of Westborough residents. 

In Your Shoes goals:
  • Encourage community among ourselves and the people we serve. 
  • Reach out to our community to educate and increase awareness about local needs. 
  • Promote volunteerism and effective philanthropy.
  • Build a network of people and businesses that is a catalyst of positive change. 
  • Direct charitable donations toward the most worthy local causes, also donating funds to other non-profit organizations that benefit Westborough residents.
As expected I love volunteering and participating in community.  Especially the Boroughs communities.  I look forward to another plunge next year.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Super Science Sundays

Last weekend I signed my boys up for the November installment of the Science Sunday series at the Boroughs JCC.  The event was promoted as bringing the Museum of Science "REPTILES" traveling show to Westborough.  Having two boys, how could I go wrong with an afternoon of lizards and snakes.  I am happy to say this event was far more then the MoS show, and I am super impressed with the quality and value of this program.

The main promotional attraction as I mentioned was the MoS traveling show.  Reptiles was cool, there was a lizard, a turtle, and a large snake.  The representative from the Museum of Science was interesting and the crowd enjoyed his presentation.  The 45 minute interactive talk was fun for the kids.  I am proud of the BJCC for bringing the MoS to Westborough.  It was convenient and fun, but as I said the real value in this event was the science that went on before the MoS presentation.

The Boroughs JCC found several Boroughs scientists (most who worked in Cambridge) to volunteer their time and conduct a series of hands on experiments for kids and adults.  These are real scientists, not technologists or doctors.  Not there is anything wrong with technologists (I am one) and doctors are impressive in many ways, but this event was staffed with scientists...people who have made their career investigating, experimenting, and (flashback to high school coming) testing hypothesizes.  It is easy for kids to get excited about sports and the sports programs in the Boroughs are great.  Band stereotypes aside, I always thought music is easy to get excited about as well, especially with great local entertainers like Mr. Kim Webster, who not only entertains but teaches young kids music fundamentals.  To me science is harder.  It requires someone with specific know how and patience to show kids in a way that is exciting and hands on.  And a lot of times even with practice science can go wrong.  :-)  That makes it more fun.  The event at the BJCC had all the elements of fun science and I am so glad I was able to take my boys.

Making slime, blowing up balloons with chemical reactions, creating geometrical shapes, and several other hands on projects kept kids and adults smiling.  This event cost $20 per family for members of the JCC and $30 per family for non-members.  Considering admission to the MoS is not cheap, this was a deal just for the reptiles and a steal when you add the experiments. 

The Science Sunday series is a new program this year at the Boroughs JCC as they expand to be more focused on the whole community.  Last month the BJCC offered discount admission to the EcoTarium Pumpkin festival in Worcester.  I can't wait to see what is planned for their next Science Sunday event.

Details on the next event are not published yet but you can keep an eye out at or become a fan of the Boroughs JCC on Facebook.  They are good about publishing all events on the Facebook page and from what I have seen all events are open to the public.  However, they are cheaper if you are a member of the Boroughs JCC

Monday, November 22, 2010

Happy One Year - Tavolino Westborough

For about a year now :-), I have been a supporter of Tavolino Italian Gourmet in Westborough.  Last week I was fortunate enough to enjoy one of the one year anniversary events and celebrate with the managers and staff.  I still stand by my original review of the food and experience at Tavolino.  I enjoy drinks with friends,  dinner with my family, or one of the many events Tavolino hosts.

The biggest things that impresses me about Tavolino I think comes back to the people in charge.  It is obvious that Anthony Valletta (Tavolino Westborough GM) and his staff really care about Westborough.  They are proud to be part of this community.  I know Anthony grew up in Westborough but his commitment to our community is obvious.  Every time I participated in a local community event, I find Tavolino.  Some of the great organizations in the local area benefit from Tavolino.  I am just proud to see this type of commitment to the local community.  Kudos to Anthony, and to the owners of Tavolino for showing Anthony the freedom to support he local community.

The anniversary celebration, was as expected, a wonderful evening.  Great food, great wine, and great local people.  I noticed editors from, representatives from the Boys & Girls club, and events staff from the Boroughs JCC.  I spent some time enjoying a Radeberger Beer with the local Radeberger reps and the reps from Boulder Beer who coincidentally have also been active local supporters of Boroughs events.

I look forward to more years and more events with Tavolino in Westborough.  If you are still one of the hold outs, I suggest you at least try Tavolino pizza for take out.  It doesn't kill the wallet and can definitely be something different.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Parents need a night out

Like many other parents, I get excited when my wife or I find an affordable sitter and escape the nightly routine for an evening out.  It could be for a fancy meal, a romantic evening, a stupid movie, or simply a trip to a store without children interrupting as we both decide on a major purchase.  I think every parent needs these evenings out.  Sometimes my boys are excited to see a sitter...sometimes not, but we try to have adults nights out on a regular basis.

Last Valentine's Day weekend my wife and I tried one of the parents' night out programs that are offered in the area.  Our first experience was with the Little Gym.  I have loved the little gym programs over the years and when I noticed the flyer I had to give it a try.  The kids loved it...absolutely loved it and it was no more expensive then a sitter for the same amount of time. 

Over the summer our main sitter was home from college so we didn't think much of these programs but since she returned to school I started doing a little research on these type of event.  Below are three great local programs that I have found.

Little Gym - Parents' Survival Night 
Age restrictions: Children must be at least three (3) years old and potty trained
Hours: 5:00PM to 8:00PM
Cost: members - $30 per child (sibling discounts available)
          non-members - $35 per child (sibling discounts available)
Availability: Open to the community, but will fill up.
Frequency: A couple of times during the year

As I mentioned, I tried the Little Gym parents' survival night last February and it was great.  The kids had a pizza dinner with juice and then did a craft activity.  Finally they participated in a Little Gym style set of games and activities.  I have always been impressed with the Little Gym staff and they delivered again on the parents' survival night.  They kids were tired at the end of the night but we saw nothing but smiles from their faces.   They typically have a 7PM bedtime and they were tired but the activities were so much fun they wanted to recap the whole night before bed.  Both boys were very excited to show their craft projects and we still talking about it at preschool the next Monday with their friends. 

The next Parents' Survival Night at the Little Gym is scheduled for Saturday, November 20th from 5:00PM - 8:00PM.  As of this morning there were only three spots left.

Boroughs JCC - Parents' Night Out
Age restrictions: Children must be at least three (3) months old
Hours: 5:00PM to 9:00PM
Cost: members - $15 per child / max $40 per family
         non-members - $20 per child / max $50 per family
Availability: Open to the community
Frequency: Monthly

Last night the Boroughs JCC ran their first community parents' night out.  My kids joined many of their friends for this event.  The Boroughs JCC did a great job at providing an exciting, entertaining, and safe event for the kids.  There was pizza, juice, and water for dinner.  A magician, balloon animals, a series of craft activities and story time reading, and even a movie at the end to settle kids down before they were picked up to go home.  My boys had a blast and they can't stop talking about the magician and how much fun they had overall.  The Boroughs JCC used their facility to provide different rooms with different activities so the kids that weren't into one activity had other options.  And the price can't be beat, I am so impressed with how well run and fun for the children the event was.  For any parents out there, you deserve a night out, take advantage of this event.

The next Parents' Night Out at the Boroughs JCC is scheduled for Saturday, December 11th from 5:00PM - 9:00PM.  This one I can't wait.

Westboro Swim and Tennis - Kids' Night Out
Age restrictions: Children ages 4 to 12 (siblings can be under 3)
Hours: 5:00PM to 9:00PM
Cost: members - $10 per child
Availability: Open to members only (Note: the children themselves must be members)
Frequency: Monthly

This is the only program that I don't have first hand experience with but I wanted to include it as several of the parents that I do socialize with rave about the Kids' Night Out program at the Westboro Tennis and Swim club.  This is a night for kids to spend at the club with gym games, swimming, arts & crafts, pizza and more.  Kids Night Out runs once a month on either Friday or Saturday evenings. As I mentioned every parent and child I have talked to raves about this program, similarly to the way I now rave about the Boroughs JCC program.  The facilitators once again are top notch and the kids have a great time playing and creating projects.  If I end up joining Westboro Swim and tennis I will definitely look forward to experiencing this program first hand.

I also found out this week the Westborough Community Education Department also runs events like this occasionally as well.  The price for the last Fales one $16 per student.  Younger siblings were welcome but they also had to be potty trained.I will have to do some research on this program in the future.

Each of these programs is a member/community service.  And from what I can tell, the organizations are not making any money, rather they are just covering costs in hopes of enriching the services they provide to families in the Boroughs.  This is a great example of community supporting the community.  My kids have had great experiences and I definitely enjoy the extra night out.  I look forward to the next Boroughs JCC event.  For the money it is the best that I have experienced so far.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Crime Prevention...not panic

I consider Westborough a safe community and crime statistics back that perception, but we all know there are crimes that are committed in and around the Boroughs.  At the last Fales Parent Group meeting, the FPG president had coordinated with Westborough Police to bring in a Detective Sergeant McLeod as a guest speaker to talk to the community about crime prevention.

Most people at this point would tend to tune out, and typically I am no exception but as I drove home I realized the message is important and in my opinion it bears repeating.  Yes, Westborough (and most of the Boroughs) are relatively safe, low crime areas.  But this is exactly the right time to think about our habits and make sure we are being safe.  But it is not a time to take things to extremes and panic.  I know too many people who worry about everything and topics like this are hard because fear gets ahead of common sense.

The talk focused on an increased rate of precious metal/jewelry theft in neighboring communities, specifically Shrewsbury.  The value of gold, copper, and other precious metals, and even scrap metals are increasing to new highs each month.  Breaking and entering crimes where thieves focus on stealing jewelry are on the rise.  The stones are popped out and the metal is melted and resold.

Lots of people have insurance to cover costs, but it is impossible to restore sentimental value.  And since the crimes typically include melting the material from it's original form to resell, even if the perpetrators are caught the merchandise is not the same.

The goal of the discussion was to raise awareness to our own habits and modify them to be the best practices for safety before Westborough has an issue.  Below are some of the key points I took away from Detective Sergeant McLeod:
  • Criminals have varying degrees of desire and ability.  Victims can provide opportunity.  If all three line up, the potential for a crime to occur is high.  Each preventative action we take reduces opportunity and possibly changes desire in the thieves eyes.
  1. Lock your doors.  Too many home thefts are because people leave the door unlocked.
  2. If you have valuable (monetarily of sentimentally) items that are  not worn every day, consider a safe deposit box or a separate safe for those items. 
  3. Be aware of items around your yard that can help a potential thief gain access to your home.  For example, the ladder behind the house or your neighbors shed.  It is safer to lock second story windows then to hope a thief doesn't see the ladder in the backyard.
  4. Use your alarm system, it adds security.
  5. Be aware of what is left in plain sight, through a window or in a car.  Enticing a thief increase their desire.  Laptops, GPS, iPods, etc are all enticing, and although the hardware may be replaceable, the years or digital photos or documents are probably not.
  6. If you are really unsure of what to do, ask for help.  The Westborough Police offer guidance on safe guarding your home and even provide survey assessments of your property.  For more information on this visit:
I am by no means a trained law enforcement officer, so I know there are many more things that can be done.   I have lived in both rougher city neighborhoods where I hated parking on the street and in rural communities where I never took the keys out of the ignition of the car.  I usually base may actions around the area I live in, but I know after this talk I should do a little more.  I don't want to contribute to a rise in crime by adding opportunity.

Thank you to the Westborough Police, Detective Sergeant McLeod, and Fale's Parent Group (FPG) for providing this type of talk.  I know it is sometimes hard to get the community involved unless they are directly affected, but prevention is far superior to recovery in this case.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Central One FCU - A welcome addition

Big banks, local banks, credit unions…with the economy and all the media coverage over the past two years, it is hard to think of a bank with a good reputation.  Most of my experience with has fortunately been with credit unions and overall it has been positive.  But I too have had my share of frustration. 

For the past ten plus years my primary credit union has been DCU.  I used to proudly proclaim repeated great experiences with DCU.  The last two years my experiences with DCU have gone downhill.  Now, I realize there are a lot of regulations that every financial institution needs to follow but every interaction seems less and less personal.  For some time I just ignored my frustrations as I knew DCU was better then some of the larger banks.

Then just over a year ago, construction began on the new Central One FCU branch in Westborough.  Originally I didn't think much of it, but I was shopping for a new car loan and stopped in to see what they could offer.  Their loans rates were as good as anyone else at the time, maybe slightly better, but the things that really got me was the staff.  When I entered the branch I was greeted by the branch manager David Kaiser.  We got to talking about the community and his thoughts on being in Westborough.  David is definitely proud to be part of this community.  He and I got to talking about Central One, the community, and how he was eager to be more and more a part of Westborough.  All things I was happy to hear as get excited when businesses and individuals look at us as a community and want to involve themselves as much as possible.

Since this first meeting I have gotten to learn more about Central One FCU and experience first hand how they do business.  I have to say I think i may have found a new credit union, and what was originally my car loan I want to become more.  Things like being open at 7AM.  I do sometimes need to stop into a branch but working in Cambridge doesn't make it easy for most banks.  Westborough Central One FCU is open Monday through Friday at 7AM.  Sure they are open on Saturday as well, but I try to focus my weekends on spending some family time.  And I want to add every time I visit the Westborough branch or even talk to them on the phone, I am not treated as a number.  There is legitimate recognition in their voices and knowledge of who I am and the accounts I am involved with.  To me, stopping at the Central One FCU branch in Westborough is like stopping to say hi to a friend. 

The last time I spoke with David he mentioned he was planning a week long one year anniversary celebration of Central One being in Westborough.  On my way back from Lazers soccer practice yesterday morning I stopped in to find out what is going on.  I am amazed at how much is planned for this week and I wanted to share some of the details.  This is all from the flyer I picked up and it is not a complete list of activities.  I encourage everyone to stop by on their own and see what else is planned.  Overall there is something fun each day.  There are breakfast (7:30AM - 11:30AM), and lunch (11:30AM - 1:00PM) food samplings from local favorites such Christina's Cafe, Hisa Japanese Cuisine, Creative Catering by Roche Bros., Rotary Pizza, South Street Diner, Westboro Variety and Deli, and Holy Cow Ice Cream.  On Monday 10/26, Tavolino is even doing an evening food sampling from 5:00PM to 6:00PM.  There are displays from Westborough school art and design programs, going green initiatives, and many other community organizations throughout the week.  On Saturday 10/30 they even have live music planned all morning from some of the WHS student groups. 

Central One FCU in Westborough is really trying to stand out and be part of the community.  I am impressed with every experience I have had to date and I look forward to more.  I encourage everyone to at least check out what they have in terms of services and compare them to what you currently have elsewhere.  But most of all I hope everyone gets to find out first hand the personal interest the the Central One FCU Westborough staff takes in each of their customers.  In my mind that is what really sets them apart.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Westboro Variety adds deli

I am sure everyone noticed the shift this past summer from a White Hen to a 7-11 in the center of Westborough.  To me 7-11 was an improvement, maybe it is the nostalgic memories of me and my high school friends grabbing Slurpees so many years ago, or maybe it was my experience the one or two times I stopped at the White Hen it seemed like the prices were extremely inflated compared to other gas station convenience stores.  But for most adults this is probably a downgrade. 

As near as I can tell, 7-11 is targeted at high school and college age individuals who are in love energy drinks and have the metabolism to handle over processed microwavable food.  I as expected do not fall into this category.  Others similar to me found a big disappointment in the target market to be  the elimination of the deli sandwich counter that was part of White Hen.  Now, I had never eaten at the White Hen deli counter and based on what I saw it wasn't overly appetizing but I can see how it was a quick sandwich at a reasonable price.  Previously anyone local could stop in and get lunch without needing to drive out to NY Deli on RT9 or Regatta Deli & Sandwich under the tracks off Rt30.
Luckily after 7-11 removed the deli counter, Westboro Variety stepped up to support these customers.  About a month ago Westboro Variety added a  Dietz & Watson deli counter.  I admit I never noticed Westboro Variety before and would have never thought to check it out, but friends at Horizon Information Services had tried the new deli counter and said I should check it out.  Not only did I check it out but I had to write about it.

I stopped in at about 1:30PM on a Tuesday and was greeted by Damelyn (I am sure I spelled her name wrong and apologize should she ever read this).  Damelyn informed me that she makes the best sandwiches that I have ever had so how could I say no.  I have to say, it was a great sandwich.  I asked for turkey, bacon, cheese and a little BBQ sauce on a roll.  There are a couple of things that made this sandwich so great.

First, the meat was sliced fresh, and not fresh this morning, but fresh at that moment.  There weren't tins of meat pre-sliced and ready...Damelyn created a fresh sandwich for me.  Second, rather then understocked shelves that I am used to seeing at many stores mid day, Westboro Variety had a full selection of chips to go along with my sandwich.  Finally and possibly the most impressive, my sandwich was $3.99.  It was a big sandwich for next to nothing.

I have been back twice to see if my initial success was repeated.  I am happy to report each time I visited, I enjoyed a fresh, delicious, filling lunch for very little money.  I don't think I would have ever stopped in Westboro Variety if I hadn't been told to try it, but I am very happy I did and I encourage anyone else looking for a quick tasty lunch in downtown Westborough.  Thank you to Horizon Information Services for the suggestion.

Side note:  I realized through this that I never actually ate at NY Deli or Regatta Deli either so I am going to try to visit them sometime as well, but for now my next quick lunch in Westborough will be Westboro Variety.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Old Soccer, New Soccer, BEST Soccer

Last spring my wife and I decided to sign our oldest up for the soccer program affiliated with the town of Westborough Recreation Department.  Neither my wife nor I were super athletic growing up and we are not a super sports house but I wanted the boys to have the opportunity to try different sports and see what they enjoy.  We decided to go with soccer for two main reasons.  The first is easy; limited down time.  T-Ball is great but there is a lot of standing and waiting, soccer is almost always activity.  Second; we knew a couple of other kids already in the program and they liked the coaches.

The Lazers soccer program operates independently from the town rec department but works closely with them and utilizes the town fields.  I don't know a lot about the history of the Lazers soccer program.  I had heard stories about some management issues in the past and how the town was working to grow and rebuild the program.  That may have been the old soccer but in the two seasons now that my family has been participants in the Westborough program I cannot find fault in anything that they do.  From the president of the organization down to every parent and volunteer coach, the Westborough Youth Soccer Association (WYSA) is organized, efficient, worth every penny, and extremely fun.  Personally I have talked with Ed Longo (president of WYSA) and had several face to face conversations with Rob Fitzgibbon, director for the under 6 programs, and all I can say is great things about their dedication, commitment and passion for this program and the families involved.

My wife and I love going to the games.  We love the sitting at practice.  The activities are well organized, the kids who are a little shy are encouraged.  Everywhere I look it is all smiles.  I wanted to add some thoughts as a parent to all the other parents considering the WYSA also know as the Lazers:

  • The first season your child may not be into it.  Our son had no concept of how aggressive to be the first season.  He is a mellow kid anyway but he did not charge for the ball ever.  The first season he spent more time cheering for his teammates when they made goals.  He claimed to have fun but wasn't really engaged.  Now after our second season (and camp which I will talk about later) he is so much more engaged and as a spectator it is clear he is loving it.  Two weekends ago he even scored his first goal in a game.  Looking at some of his teammates this season I can see the difference, especially compared to first year players.  To the parents out there I say give it a second go before you decide to try something different just to make sure.  Below are photos from recent games.

    • Best Soccer Camp is fantastic!  It really helps the kids get more involved during the season.  This summer we signed both of our boys up for the Best Soccer Camp for one week.  This program is run in collaboration with the Westborough Recreation Department we well and hosted by Best English Soccer Training of Westborough.  The camp was amazing, and according to wicked local Westborough over 50 local children participated this summer.  Best Soccer Soccer was founded by Paul Mumby, Westborough High School Girls soccer coach.  Mr. Mumby brings over college soccer players from England and Wales who are great with the kids and truly seem to enjoy the game at every level.  This alone would make me proud but then the Best Soccer Camp did a couple of other things this summer that made be extra impressed with Mr. Mumby's management of the program.

      As we all remember, we enjoyed a very rain free summer.  But the week I signed my boys up for camp was the same week the rains came.  Monday camp was canceled due to rain.  It happens and I know we can't control the weather, but I did just shell out money for the boys to do a program that isn't happening.  Instead of just chalking it up to unfortunate weather, the Best Soccer Camp extended their program 30 minutes each day for the rest of the week.  Part of signing up for an outdoor program is we have to deal with weather, but this action showed that Mr. Mumby is concerned about the value to us as parents.  Then the second day had to be canceled as well.  Sure we need the rain but...  Again Mr. Mumby looked to insure value and extended the camp to run through Saturday.  I realize some parents will say that is not good...they had other plans on Saturday, but for me it was great.  I even got to go watch where during the week I was in Cambridge working behind a desk.  Since I did get to watch i also got some great photos.

      After camp, both boys couldn't wait for the next season.  The youngest will need to wait till spring but the oldest was 100 times more into soccer after the one week at camp.  As you can see form the faces below, the kids love this camp.

    • Lazers soccer is a great social event.  I am definitely outgoing and I enjoy meeting and talking with new people, but rarely is it as easy as at the soccer games and practices.  We have met other families of his kindergarten classmates, long time town residents, and neighbors only 4 or 5 houses away.  Sunday afternoons at Hadley field families are cheering and enjoying the games  and I am proud to be part of it.
      I am happy we got involved with these programs.  It actually makes it a little hard to consider another program right now as these are so much fun and all I ever see is smiles on my son's and other kids faces.  In the spring my youngest can finally get off the sidelines and join the Lazers as well.  We can't wait.