Jennifer Miller is a mom’s mom. For the last three or four years, she has been spending every Friday night during the school year at the Vaughn Civic Center behind the snack bar counter. She is the person hungry skaters, from the little guys up to eighth graders, converge upon with requests for pizza wedges, nachos, drinks and other snacks between songs and skating sessions. From 6 to 9 p.m., she and other local adults, both volunteer and paid, provide a safe place for children to have fun away from home – and their parents a couple of “kid-free” hours; apparently a welcome shift, as Miller says most parents drop their offspring off and then leave during the skating sessions.
Friday Night Skate Night has been a consistent event at the Civic Center for at least nine years, says Miller; that’s when her girlfriend, Leslie Eldridge, began to babysit for her middle child. Then, several years ago, when the Eldridges began to orchestrate the events, Miller gradually became a regular behind the snack bar. She also likes to skate, but, “I love selling food to the kids — and they love to eat!” The closest she gets to participating on Friday nights is to be the “line caller” (in tennis shoes) when the skaters line up to line-dance.
The Millers (Jennifer’s husband, Kip, is the skate night “D.J.”) take summers off from the Friday night event and the family often goes camping; she also enjoys wake-boarding behind their boat.
Miller is a lifelong resident of the peninsula area, and a Peninsula High School graduate. She’s a busy parent, and enjoys volunteering. Her youngest child is 5, and all three siblings attend skate night. “I’ll be behind this counter forever,” she says with a laugh. Miller works part-time, and counts her family as her number one priority, with her most important title being “Mom.”|