By Sean Barron
Josh Wharry didn’t express much surprise in seeing that his 9-year-old daughter, Rebecca Ruthrauff, had amassed $475,000, though part of his reaction might have been tempered by the fact that he was sitting on $285,000 of his own.
“How much do I get if I get $80,000, but subtract $35,000?” the North Lima man asked Rebecca as the two engaged in a friendly competition while playing the Game of Life, a popular board game.
“I don’t know,” a puzzled Rebecca replied.
Rebecca, a South Range Elementary School third-grader, did know, however, that she and her father were among those who enjoyed a two-hour father/daughter family gathering Saturday in Mill Creek MetroParks’ Pioneer Pavilion.
The family-friendly event gave the fathers and daughters a relaxing opportunity to enjoy quality time together while engaged in fun activities and away from cellphones and other technological distractions, noted Maureen Weetman, MetroParks’ programs and events coordinator who spearheaded the festivities.
Among the well-known board games on hand were Scrabble, Guesstures (a game of charades), Connect 4, Dominoes and Cranium, a brain-teaser game.
When Rebecca isn’t raking in six figures playing board games with her father, having fun figure skating or spending time in school, she might be traveling around the U.S., because Josh is an aircraft mechanic for Southwest Airlines. As a result, Atlanta, Denver, Washington, D.C., and Charlotte, N.C., are among the places she and the family have visited on weekend trips, Josh said.
“We do all kinds of stuff,” he added.
Letters were much more of an integral part of their fun than numbers for Rich Feezle of Austintown and his daughters, Lilly and Addison, 7 and 8, respectively.
“It’s hard when you don’t have the ‘U,’” Addison, an Austintown Intermediate School third-grader, said about the main challenge of having a “Q” whenever playing Scrabble Junior, which was the family’s game of choice.
It wasn’t long, though, before Lilly, an Austintown Elementary School second-grader, was able to use that letter to form the word “quiet.”
Addison enjoys board games while her younger sister is more attuned to toys and video games, their father said.
“We like to do things we can do together, so we can spend quality time,” said Tony Rudolphi of Canfield, while taking a brief break from playing Candy Land with his 8-year-old daughter, Elysia.
Tony said he tries to limit the amount of time Elysia spends using electronic devices, adding he worries that too many young people become addicted to their iPhones and other technological gadgets, leading many of them to become anti-social or develop poor social skills.
“I truly believe that electronics can be like a hypnosis,” he continued.
Echoing that view was Weetman, who said she feels that too few people spend time communicating with one another face to face.
A similar evening event for mothers and sons is set for 5 to 7 p.m. Feb. 10 in Pioneer Pavilion, she added.