Pauls Valley Democrat
There appears to be no shortage of fall related activities piling up as the month inches ever closer to the 31st, with each Garvin County community making sure no resident misses out.
Doing their part to cram in as much family friendly entertainment as possible are two Elmore City based fall festivals, the first of which is the EC Chamber of Commerce’s fundraising centered event on Saturday, Oct. 26.
Something adopted from the school district last year after it outgrew its original home at the gymnasium, the goal for those like Chamber President Amy Shebester is to alleviate the shortfalls in budgets experienced by school teachers by featuring a variety of fun activities along the main street in town.
“This money goes back to the classrooms, they divide it up among all the classrooms so they all benefit,” said Shebester.
“Really it’s just anything we can do to benefit our kids is better…. It gives the teachers a little bit of backup and lets them know it’s not all coming out of your pocket.”
It’s a night that has grown with popularity and will start once again with the Ag Boosters sale of burgers at 4 p.m. and will shortly after launch into the opening of booths hosted by the various clubs, businesses and school classrooms, said Shebester.
Along with games like a football toss, there will be options like funnel cakes by the boy scouts, the chance to buy raffle tickets for themed gift baskets by each of the grades through the junior high level by the time 6 p.m. rolls along and even showings of G-rated Halloween themed films by the PTO in the grade school cafeteria from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
There will also be bingo hosted in the community center from 6 to 7:30 p.m., where money will be raised to help the chambers needs and the night eventually wraps up with a dance there from 8 to 11 p.m., said Shebester.
This will be complimented by the announcement of which three classrooms have won a fall poll decorating contest that begins Oct. 23 with those classrooms earning the benefit of $100 for first place, $75 for second and $50 for third.
In the end, the more money raised at this event, the better as she believes investing this early in the lives of the children will provide better options for the future and hopefully encourage them to stay in the area.
“I think it doubled the participation being out on the street… They saw a dramatic increase in the funds available from this,” said Shebester, who has three of her own children enrolled. “They are the next generation that is going to step up some day and I want them to be proud of where they come from.”
Following that, kids through sixth grade and their families are welcomed to EC First Baptist Church’s 5th annual festival on Wednesday, Oct. 30 in its Family Life Center.
Led by church members Dayna Chapman and Becky Howard, it’s a night where each of the church’s Sunday school classes put together games and activities from face painting and a cake walk to pumpkin bowling.
“Everybody wants to help and it puts a smile on a child’s face,” said Chapman, pointing out how they do ask for no Halloween costumes since the city hosts its own trick or treat night from 5 to 7 p.m. on Halloween. “Who doesn’t want to see a smile on a child’s face.”
The idea is to spread their ministry through outreach in the community through elements like a grab bag kids can fill up with candy as well as a pumpkin prayer, said Chapman. They hope to offer something that is fun as well as spiritually fulfilling through showing their unity as a congregation.
“It gets all of our church members involved…We had 488 that actually signed in last year, we gave away 250 bags,” said Chapman, adding how everyone from the youth group to seniors donating supplies will be involved somehow. “It’s an outreach to show the love of Jesus.”