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Free Movie Night at the YMCA; Friday Night Done Right

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Although a prime sampling of family entertainment, the animated film The Croods: A New Age also qualifies as a work of animated cinematic art; one recently nominated for a 2021 Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Animated. And in many ways, the same can be said about Free Movie Night at the YMCA, the Friday Night Done Right – Movie Watch Party 6 p.m. March 12. 

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The Croods: A New Age is a production of Dentsu and DreamWorks Animation featuring the voices of Emma Stone, Ryan Reynolds, and Nicholas Cage will be the film featured at this festive Friday night party. The night is sponsored by HCC and Y (a joint project of Hernando Community Coalition and the Hernando YMCA), at the Hernando County YMCA, 1300 Mariner Blvd, Spring Hill. 

The event is open free of charge to students and other area youth ages 12-18, who will need to bring blankets and/or chairs for the event; one that also will feature giveaways and hotdogs. CDC guidelines will be followed.

And while kids enjoy the story of a rivalry staged by competing prehistoric families, who wish to discover just who is the most evolved, they will benefit from an atmosphere that is fun and family-friendly in equal measure. “The Movie Under the Stars event is part of the Friday Night Done Right series that we have partnered with the Anti-Drug Community Coalition with for several years now,” explained Amber Slusser, Branch Executive Director

YMCA of the Suncoast, Hernando County states, “the purpose is to engage middle school and high school students with activities that are more positive, keeping them away from environments that could lead to exposure to drugs and alcohol.  Each FNDR event had a different theme and/or activity in which we would get anywhere from 80-175 teens in attendance.  It is free and open to any 6th-12th grader in the community.”

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The mission of Hernando Community Coalition, according to information found on their website, “is to serve as a collective voice for Hernando County residents working towards the health and wellness of community members, with a focus on youth substance abuse.” Tresa J. Watson, Executive Director of Hernando Community Coalition in Spring Hill, feels that Friday Night Done Right is just the right event for Hernando kids.

“HCC and The Y are excited for their first Friday Night Done Right event, March 12, 2021, to give Hernando students in Middle School and High School (the chance) to make important choices about how they spend their Friday night, without alcohol and drugs; to know that it is normal, and allows teens who have been involved (in) those activities to realize they don’t need that to have a good time,” said Watson. “Have any middle or high school come to our Movie Watch Party, The Croods:  A New Age, March 12, 2021, at 6 pm.  Many Hernando businesses and organizations support Friday Night Done Right by contributing to the events, and partnering with HCC.”

The YMCA of the Suncoast is a “leading non-profit committed to strengthening community, the YMCA of the Suncoast is a cause-driven charitable organization that stands for youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility, serving more than 90,000 men, women, and children through eight locations and more than 60 before-and after school sites in Citrus, Hernando, Pasco and Pinellas counties.” 

Much like drive-in movies, this form of outdoor ‘sit-in’ cinema makes for a safer movie-going experience. “With most events being outside, it helps during these times where concerns are heightened and it makes it easier to implement safety protocols and practices for COVID,” said Slusser.

Yet the safety-related benefits of Movies Under the Stars go far beyond protocols.

“The value in this is ten-fold,” said Slusser. “Not only does it provide a free and fun activity that engages this age group but it is a safe and positive environment.”   

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