REED CITY — The recent February Family Night at Norman Elementary in Reed City was all about health and fitness, and a huge crowd turned out to take part in a big variety of activities.

The rock wall was a popular spot for the youngsters, and they absolutely seemed to love putting the big variety of therapy dogs through their paces, which included sending them through a tunnel of sorts and greeting them at the other end.

The Riley Mackenzie dogs have been frequent visitors throughout the area, giving the children a chance to practice their reading with their canine listeners.

Huge balloons also provided fun for adults and children alike, as did games, trying out stilts and pogo sticks, playing with a parachute, and all sorts of other activities.

One room was filled with cheerleaders who gave little girls of all ages a real workout learning cheers, exercise certainly disguised as just plain fun.

The evening began with a healthy snack plate consisting pf chicken salad, cottage cheese, veggie sticks and watermelon.

Legos, floor puzzles and toys, along with drawings and a free book given to each child attending the event rounded out the evening.

Vicky Bowman, coordinator of the monthly Family Nights, praised those who volunteer to help, and added that without the sponsors, there could be no Family Nights.

Those currently sponsoring the 2010-11 Family Nights at Reed City include the Big Rapids Garden Club, Country Veterinary Service, Dental Health Care, H & R Block, Hinkle-Witbeck Agency, Ice Mountain, Dr. Amy Keller, McDonald’s, Mosaic Potash, and Osceola Community Foundation. Also, Paradise Salon, Patches Enterprises, Pompeii’s, Seven Slot Grille, Target, TransCanada Corporation, and Vic’s Foodland.

Bowman said it is absolutely necessary to find additional sponsors to help complete this school year, and vital to going into next year’s program.

The Family Nights not only provide fun, she said, but also gives the entire family a chance to interact with other families as well, allowing them to share ideas and make new friends. As many as 700 have attended recent Family Nights at Norman.