Kids build Gaga Ball Pit in Farmington Hills park

The Farmington STEAM Academy Junior Optimist Club recently built a Gaga Ball Pit at Heritage Park in Farmington Hills.

The game is a variant of dodgeball played in a Gaga Pit. It combines dodging, striking, running, and jumping, with the objective of being the last person standing. Players hit the ball at each other with their hands, and are eliminated if the ball strikes them on or below the knee.

All project funds came through a $1,500 grant that the club received as the international overall winner of the 2018 Junior Optimist “Reel Optimism” video contest sponsored by Optimist International. Students, the city’s Special Services Department staff, and community volunteers, completed construction of the Gaga Ball Pit, along with two benches for spectators, on May 18.

Ken Wasmer, advisor to the Farmington STEAM Academy Junior Optimist Club and President of the Farmington/Farmington Hills Optimist Club said, “Our hope is that this Gaga Ball Pit at Heritage Park will be enjoyed by children for many years to come.”

Currently, 30 students belong to the Farmington STEAM Academy Junior Optimist Club. Student officers include Club President Amatullah Poonawala, Vice President Noah Cahill, Secretary Veer Agarwal, and Treasurer Chase Tonnies.

The Farmington/Farmington Hills Optimist Club supports more than 180 Junior Optimists in Farmington Public Schools from elementary grades through high school. Participants learn about leadership and community service, and each club has an adult Optimist member as an advisor. The Farmington/Farmington Hills Optimist Club has supported youth programs in the community for more than 35 years.

Press release