Fall is just a few days away now, but I felt the season change some weeks back when I heard the first crickets chirping as I left for work one morning. We may have a changing climate to worry about, but it’s comforting to see and hear those little signs in nature that remain the same from one year to the next.
Autumn means many things to us here at Wayne Township—kids needing school supplies and clothes, the return of the heating season, the shorter days and longer nights that often mean a greater demand for electricity. It’s a serious business, but this time of year is fun for us, too.
This is when we go into full gear preparing for our Holiday Celebration in December. This year’s festive event will be held on Saturday, December 17 at the McMillen Park Community Center from 1:00 to 5:00 PM. We will be celebrating not only the joy of the holiday season but also the coming 2017 school semester when students can begin qualifying for our annual Recognizing Achievement Scholarships to be awarded in the spring of 2017.
Last year’s Holiday Celebration, our first at the McMillen Center, brought out close to 3,000 people. We had fun activities like face painting, clowns, bounce houses, zoo animals, and food. We gave out prizes of toys, bikes, electronics, and educational items. We’re planning to do all of that again and more.
This party is lots of fun for children—and for the adults who get to watch their kids hopping along in potato sacks, getting their faces painted, dancing in contests, or shooting baskets in the one-on-one tournament. Last year the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo brought, among other critters, a young armadillo, and I think that fascinated the adults just as much as it did the children. For many, this party is the highlight of the winter holidays, where kids get to have fun and receive some of their best presents of the season.
This will be our fifth Holiday Celebration and our fourth year offering the Recognizing Achievement Scholarships. All of this is free to the participants and we do it without using Wayne Township tax dollars. Instead we appeal to our staff and our community partners, who step up better every year to give the kids of our township a very happy holiday. Donors send us monetary contributions as well as prizes—both educational and “just for fun” gifts, and we give recognition to all of our donors at the party.
We are excited to be hosting this event again this year, and we look forward to having the community join us in giving a happy holiday and a vote of encouragement to the young people of Wayne Township. I hope you will join us this December for a guaranteed great time.
But you don’t have to rush the season like we do—enjoy the coming autumn with its crisp temperatures, beautiful colors, and exciting winds. After all, Mother Nature puts on the best show of all.
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