Wounded warriors come out to play

Brooklyn Daily
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Grace notes: A Fire Department bagpiper plays “Amazing Grace” as a tribute to the fallen firefighters, police officers, and paramedics.
Honor the fallen: Friends and family pay their respects to those injured or killed defending this country.
Sweet deal: Maria The Ice Cream Girl doles out free treats to wounded warriors and their families.
All wet: Sean Davis emerges from the dunk tank’s icy depths.
Twirl girl: Instead of taking a spin on the Wonderwheel, Samantha Del Rio did some arts and crafts, played skee ball, and demonstrated her plate-spinning skills.

That must have been some party.

A family day that the Wounded Warriors Project hosted in Coney Island on Aug. 11 was so fun two kids actually passed on the three hours of free rides in Deno’s Wonderwheel Amusement Park in order to stay at the party.

The group brought in food, games and entertainment for the day-long celebration, and heros and their families took a break from the ups and downs of public service with free rides in the amusement park from 1–4 pm.

But a pair of fun-loving youngsters deemed the party in MCU Park’s parking lot more righteous than the iconic amusement park, their mother said.

“They didn’t want to go on the rides, because they were having so much fun,” parent Marissa Del Rio said of her kids Samantha and Michael. “I don’t like getting on rides, so that worked out.”

Instead, the kids enjoyed hula hooping, face-painting, and took a woodworking class where they built a race car and a jewelry case, said Del Rio, whose son-in-law and aunt work for the Fire Department.

As if food, rides, and games weren’t enough, there was entertainment galore — including a magician, a caricature artist, and Long Island singing sisters the American Bombshells entertained the guests.

Hundreds of firefighters, veterans, and their loved ones came to the family day, said organizer Tony Ntellas.

Del Rio — who had never been to a Wounded Warriors-organized event — said she was so smitten with the party that she wants to help organize the next one.

“I would definitely go again next year,” she said. “I need to start volunteering with them.”

Reach reporter Max Jaeger at or by calling (718) 260-8303. Follow him on Twitter @MJaeger88.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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