HPOU’s 5th annual family picnic promises to be ‘bigger and better’ than last year’s extravaganza

Tom Kennedy

There’s only three words that will describe this year’s HPOU 5th Annual Family Picnic – BIGGER AND BETTER!

This extremely popular event that began in 2012 ranks in many ways like the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo in that the planning for “next year” begins as soon as this year’s session is over.

 

More T-shirts!

 

Picnic chairman Colton Peverill and his committee figured all sorts of ways to take the 2015 event to another level. Peverill promises that the 2016 version will be an upgraded version of a great HPOU family tradition.

He said the improvements will start with the sale of event t-shirts that will come in all sizes. Last year they sold out within the first hour of operation. This year that will be different. Peverill and HPOU executive assistant Lisa Marino vow to have on hand an overabundance of the shirts, which will come in a color that distinguishes picnickers from the Staff in charge of keeping order and promoting all sorts of fun.

The picnic will take place Nov. 12 at the Houston Farm and Ranch Club, 1 Abercrombie St., in West Houston, near the intersection of Interstate 10 and Highway 6. This great family extravaganza starts at 2 p.m. and lasts until 10 p.m. Free shuttle service will be available – as always – at the Union parking lot starting at 1 p.m. For the return trip that evening, Peverill said “buses will run until everybody is picked up.”

The excitement for the kids includes “the game truck” – an 18-wheeler loaded with the latest video games, the trackless train, the rock-climbing wall, the bounce house and the old west shoot house.

There will be plenty of prizes for both adults and the kids. Once again there will be a wide array of great prizes in the kids-only raffle with the ultimate winner taking home a brand new PlayStation 4. This grand prize will come to the winner of the kids-only raffle.

“Last year we ended up with a ton of prizes,” Peverill said. “This year promises to have even more. All raffle tickets are free. All you have to do is pick them up at the gate.”

Also, for the “older kids,” aka adults, there will be an adults-only raffle under these same conditions. Prizes will include – as always – sports memorabilia and other exciting items donated by Houston area businesses in support of HPD and the Union.

“This year we will have a 4K LED flat screen television as the top prize in the adults-only raffle.”

Now is the time to pick up enough free admission tickets for the entire family. Tickets are available at the Union Building at 1600 State Street or by calling or emailing Lisa at 832-200-3432 and lisa.marino@hpou.org.

“Really the only reason we require you to pick up a ticket for each person is to get an accurate head count so that we have enough food and drinks for everybody,” Peverill explained. “This means you don’t really need a ticket to get through the gate. We welcome everybody in the HPD family.”

‘Food-filled Attractions’

Peverill stressed that the main purpose of handing out admission tickets was to “get an accurate head count” to make sure there will be enough food and drink for all those who attend.

“In reality,” he said, “we will be handing free tickets out at the door the day of the event. No officer and his or her family members will be turned away.”

A disc jockey will be present for musical entertainment early in the afternoon with the FIVE-0 Band on tab to crank up the dancing numbers for the adults later in the day. The band is led by Officer Tom Wyers and also will spotlight members of Phaze-Down, a featured hit at the HPOU’s previous family picnics.

“This event always draws hundreds of kids and this year we expect to set a new attendance record, especially if the weather holds up well.”

Here are some other “food-filled” attractions planned for the picnic:

  • Plenty of hamburgers, hotdogs, sides, trimmings and salad. The food will be served from 3-6 p.m.
  • Soft drinks and water will be provided.
  • The family focus also will include face painting, balloon blowers and many fun activities.

Besides Peverill, the following board members have taken part in the planning of the event, always recognized as the Union’s greatest family event of the year. Those board members are Tom Hayes, Joe Gamaldi, Luis Menendez-Sierra, Robert Sandoval, Bill Booth, David Riggs, Tim Butler, Kawanski Nichols and Doug Griffith.