On New Year's Eve, the Libertyville Sports Complex was filled with kids from all over northern Illinois who gathered to have some fun and ring in the New Year.
About 155 kids attended the first annual New Year's Eve All-Nighter, held by the Libertyville 12U Orange baseball team as a means to raise money for an upcoming tournament in Cooperstown, NY.
"The event was a huge success," said Dara Dietmeyer, who co-chaired the event with Colleen Scopacasa. "We had 155 kids signed up with parents asking us to squeeze their kids into the event an hour before start time. This was a community-wide event with kids registered from Chicago, Wauconda, Lindenhurst, Fox Lake, Spring Grove, McHenry, Mundelein, Vernon Hills, Grayslake, Waukegan, Gurnee, Libertyville and Green Oaks."
Twenty-two volunteers monitored the kids throughout the 13-hour event, which featured dancing, organized sports, a video game room, a board game section, spa section, open gym, movies and climbing wall. There was also a balloon drop at midnight.
"Only a handful of kids fell asleep and the majority of children literally played all night," said Dietmeyer. She said the Music Now deejay was "amazing and kept the kids dancing for four hours.
"Gina, the disc jockey from Music Now DJ Group, and Jordan (floor helper) really exhausted the kids, teaching them how to Gangnam Style, do the Macarena and line dancing," said Dietmeyer.
She added that parents are already requesting that the All-Nighter be held again on New Year's Eve 2013.
"We offered so many activities that it appealed to boys and girls of all ages," said Dietmeyer. She and Scopacasa placed posters in store windows, started a Facebook page, posted on Pinterest and Twitter, and got local school districts to include information in their virtual backpacks.
"This was the perfect place for friends to ring in the New Year since there was so much to do. Realistically, this was the only place to go to ring in the New Year with all of your friends and do such a wide variety of activities," said Dietmeyer.
Many local businesses supported the event, including:
- Bagels by the Book, Libertyville, provided bagels.
- Steve Olson Printing & Design, North Chicago, created and printed the event fliers and posters.
- Domino's, Libertyville, partnered with the event organizers to provide pizza.
- Tranel Financial Group, Libertyville, promoted the event on their electronic billboard.