Mansfield Sportsmans Club hosts rocketeers

By Adrienne Douke
Empire Press Correspondent

Two Tacoma families came to Mansfield for the Washington Aerospace Club’s Fire in the Sky rocket launch over Memorial Day weekend at the Sportsmans Club near Mansfield. From left, are Axle Lebedinets, Kendi Lebedinets, Jason Davis and Redina Money. (Empire Press photo/Adrienne Douke)

The Washington Aerospace Club held its 16th annual Fire in the Sky rocket launch over Memorial Day weekend at the Mansfield Sportsman Club grounds near Mansfield.

The holiday weekend started out to be cold and rainy, but by Sunday afternoon the sky cleared and on Monday the weather was perfect to reward the hardcore rocketeers who stayed until the end of the event.

Mayor Tom Snell noted that while the weather did not cooperate early on, the show went on.

?One rocket went 10,000 feet,? he said, ?We always enjoy the rocketeers. Their arriving for Memorial Day weekend has become something of a Mansfield tradition.?

The Mansfield Booster Club sold concessions throughout the weekend at the Buckshot Grill. Students helped and split the proceeds with the club.

“It is one of the main ways students raise money for their classes,? club member Lisa Hall said.

Civics teacher Luke Hall and club treasurer Diana Mickelson spent the weekend grilling burgers to help raise funds for projects that the club sponsors, and scholarships for graduating seniors.

?It was a fun weekend, and we met a lot of interesting people who came to participate, and watch the rockets blast off,? Hall said.

Two families that came to the Fire in the Sky launch said they caught the “rocket bug” and dressed the part. Jason Davis dressed as an astronaut and Redina Money followed suit with similar apparel for the occasion.

“It?s our first time here, and although we are new to rocketeering it quickly became a family hobby with all of us building rockets together,? Money said.

The family started out small but that didn?t last long, according to Money.

?Now we are buying kits for bigger rockets, and we do our own sanding and painting. It didn?t take long for everyone in the family to get involved,? she said.

One of the great things about rocketry is that math and critical thinking are important skills that are required to assemble and launch rockets.

?We apply real life concepts that correspond with studies in school ? especially math ? and have fun doing it,? Money said.

?We are glad you came,? Snell said to everyone who came to town for the event.