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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA / A news summary

Another Perfect Day in L.A.: Snow in the 90s

August 04, 2000

WOODLAND HILLS — More than 200 kids pelted each other with snowballs, built tiny snowmen and rode plastic toboggans down an icy bank Thursday at Camp Sharwood.

From 9 a.m. until noon, it was Snow Play Day at the Woodland Hills Recreation Center. Union Ice dumped 11 tons of shredded ice, creating a rectangle about 30 by 60 feet. The play area was surrounded by bales of hay, some of them arranged in steps leading up to the summit of a 7-foot slide.

Small groups of campers ranging in age from 5 to 13 were given 25 minutes of snow play. Many children were ill-equipped for the cold stuff, wearing their usual summer shorts and sandals. The cold didn't reduce their enthusiasm, however.

Playing in the snow was a fine way for the children to fight the heat as temperatures climbed into the 90s.

The idea was conceived by Camp Sharwood program director Brendon "Wiley" Gerisch. An avid skier, he thought up the plan to bring snow to the kids more than a month ago, while making plans for the annual summer camp operated by the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks.

"It was hot out, and we decided we needed to cool them off a little," Gerisch said. "What's better than snow to cool people off?"

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