It’s hard to believe but fall is just a few days away now. Where’d the summer go? We’ve been very busy over the past few weeks of the season, including enjoying the Waynedale Picnic in August. This year our new Chief Deputy Trustee, Austin Knox, tended our booth at the picnic, and he greatly enjoyed the sunny weather, fabulous food and camaraderie he found on his first visit to that annual event.
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 bring a greater demand for electricity. It’s a serious business, but this time of year is fun for us, too.
September 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 16 at the McMillen Park Community Center. We will be celebrating not only the joy of the holiday season but also the coming 2018 school semester when students can begin qualifying for our annual Recognizing Achievement Scholarships to be awarded in the spring of 2018. Also we will begin taking applications for our newer Academic Encouragement Award for students younger than the high school seniors.
Last year’s Holiday Celebration, our second at the McMillen Center, brought out a huge crowd of both children and adults. We had fun activities like dancing, face painting, clowns, bounce houses, African drumming and food. We gave out prizes of turkeys, 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 making shots in the three-on-three basketball tournament. For many, this party is the highlight of the winter holidays: kids get to have fun and receive some of their best presents of the season.
This will be our sixth Holiday Celebration, our fifth year offering the Recognizing Achievement Scholarships, and the second year for the Academic Encouragement Award. 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 the happiest of holidays. Donors send us monetary contributions as well as prizes—both educational and “just for fun” gifts, and all of our donors are recognized at the party.
We are excited to be hosting the Holiday Celebration 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.
This year’s celebration will be bittersweet, however. LeRoy Page, who was the Master of Ceremony for our past celebrations, passed away at the end of August. Mr. Page was known for his smooth voice and even-keeled personality. In his day job he was the director of our Employment Department where he was responsible for finding over 200 jobs per year for our client-partners. He was a valued friend and co-worker, and we miss him already here at Wayne Township.
I hope you enjoy the coming autumn with its crisp temperatures, beautiful colors and exciting winds. It should be a good one; after all, as we saw at the Waynedale Picnic, it’s Mother Nature that puts on the best show of all.
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