Photo Gallery: 11th annual Snowfest


WILLIAMSTOWN -- Nena Darafshi, 12, was dancing in front of a large computer screen, emulating the moves of the dancer on the screen in front of him.

Darafshi was pretty good at it and was clearly enjoying himself.

The Wii "Just Dance" station was one of the more high-tech aspects of Snowfest, held Sunday afternoon at the Williams College Field House and Rink.

"I like to kick a soccer ball around," said Darafshi, "and I like ‘Just Dance.' "

As an aside, those who play "Just Dance" dance along with the figure on the screen to a variety of popular movie themes and songs, ranging from the theme from "Flashdance" by Irene Cara to "Get Lucky" by Daft Punk. Points are scored according to how closely the player matches the screen dancer's moves.

Sunday was the 11th annual Snowfest, a fundraiser for the Williamstown Youth Center, a non-profit organization offering programming for the community's young people on a year-round basis.

This is the only fundraiser of the year for the youth center, according to Executive Director David Rempell. The goal this year, he said, was to raise about $25,000.

The range of programs offered by the Youth Center, said Rempell, include before-school programs, after-school programs, programs during school vacation week, and summer programs. These may be arts programs or sports programs, he said.

The goal of the fundraiser is, in part, to be able to offer scholarships to families who might not be able to afford the fees charged by the youth center.

"Our goal is to enable every child that wants to, to take part in our activities," he said. The center annually provides programming for several hundred families, he said.

He also mentioned the center's appreciation for the 18 sponsors who provided funding and other support services.

David Armet, president of the Youth Center Board of Directors and a lifelong Williamstown resident, explained that the organization "embodies what we do very well as a community: Come together and support our young people."

This year, he said, there were about 40 volunteers manning the various stations at Snowfest. The stations included the Wii dancing center, am inflatable obstacle course, caricature-drawing, a hoop shooting station and various arts and crafts.

One of those young people is his daughter, Zoe Armet.

"I love coming here," she said. "It's a lot of fun and all of my friends are usually here, too."

Zoe favors the inflatable obstacle course, or the "bouncy course", as she put it.

Her friend Ava Howard, 9, is pretty much a fan of everything.

"They're all pretty fun," she said.

The two also suggested that when they grow too old for all this, they would like to come back and help out.

"I'd like to be a volunteer here when I get older," said Ava. Zoe nodded sagely.

To reach Derek Gentile:
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On Twitter: @DerekGentile