For so many families to attend, the Harvest Festival at the Activity Centre on October 17 really did exceed all expectations, said Sara Kozmanuik, the youth liaison worker with the CAP/CPR program.
CAP/CPR is an acronym for the Child Action Plan and Crossroads Project Reconnect.
“The festival had an amazing turnout. It was more successful then I could have imagined. At our highest count we were at 200 people,” said Kozmanuik.
There were numerous activities organized for the children and the parents were invited to join in, she said.
“Each family received a pumpkin to paint,” she said. “We attached a Chase Kraynick `pay it forward’ card to each pumpkin as this is what the Kraynick family likes to see happen in memory of their son. In recent years, The Kraynicks handed out pumpkins with the ‘pay it forward’ cards. We wanted to honour that and do the same.”
Candace Doogan made a large number of pumpkin cookies and each family was given two to decorate, said Kozmanuik.
The children enjoyed taking their parents outdoors and playing in the Lions Kiddies Park. One of the special additions for the day was a mini photo area with bales, a picture frame and masks. There was a pumpkin ring toss, three-legged races, pumpkin bowling, a bale maze and the pie eating contest. Gabano’s pizza donated a gift certificate for a free 10-inch pizza to the winner.
CAP/CPR provided free hotdogs and hot chocolate to everyone. The kids also received some extra little treats.
By the time 2 p.m. came about, the children and their parents created a long line to get on the horse-drawn wagon for a trip around town. Linda Banga brought a pair of her Clydesdales for the afternoon and she had to make several trips to make sure everyone had an opportunity to experience the wagon ride.
“I am really thankful to Linda and her family. Even though it was a busy time of the year, she made time for our festival,” said Kozmanuik.
There is actually a long list of volunteers who helped to make this event so successful, she said. Donna and Dave Medvid lent 150 bales and they were always willing to help whenever needed. Aimee Ruff and Kylee Toffan joined Donna Medvid to build the bale maze
The Kraynick family donated 60 pumpkins for the pumpkin painting event. Candace Doogan made “our yummy sugar cookies.”
Lauren Mentanko and Jocelyn -Collingridge donated some additional pumpkins
Tanya Desrosiers was thanked “for jumping in and helping through the day” but there were many families who jumped in and helped without hesitation, Kozmanuik said.
As an example, she thanked her husband Kris Kozmanuik for making hot dogs and her daughters Echo and Autumn for helping out at the festival.
“This event turned out better then I could have ever imagined. To see such a beautiful sense of community was amazing.”
I am so thankful for our grant funding as well as the generosity from families in the community for donations that allow us to do things like this for our community free of charge.
What is so special about CAP/CPR is that events are always free because the program receives so much grant funding, Kozmanuik said. Combine the grant funding with the generosity of a few families and it’s possible to put on a large event like the Harvest Festival.