Wow. What an amazing day! The ECHO News would like to thank a few people for their support of the First Ever ECHO Fall Festival.
These folks are community do-gooders, and it seems there is really nothing that will stop them. Some of them belong to organizations that are known for this doing-good thing, but some of them are just people who like to help in their community.
There is no particular order, but there is kind of a story.
Bryan Sallee of Skyline Family Fellowship came to LJ Kennedy at the ECHO News interested in putting together a community event. They saw all the separate Trunk-or-Treat events happening all over town and thought it was about time to bring the community together. LJ, rather community-minded himself as a member of the Rotary, Elks, and a Lion thought that would be a great idea to bring a second Nerf Battle Royale to the event.
Well, then it took on a life of its own. Zach Keogh who was one of the organizers of the first Battle Royale jumped on board. I recruited Linda Maggio and we came up with an event of grand proportions. It was a little frightening. Thank you to Zach and Linda for everything you put into this event.
Once we had this grand idea, we needed a location. Eagle River Lions Club to the rescue! Magnificent! Not only did they offer us a location, but they jumped at the chance to help us out with people, equipment, and food service. They even offered to donate a portion of the proceeds of food sales to the fund we are creating for our Student Journalism Program. Go Lions, and in particular, Bruce Wilson for his patience and support while we figured all this stuff out for the first time.
We decided that since this was a true community event, we didn’t want to try to solicit funds from organizations and businesses – we wanted to involve them. So off we went, our steering committee of four, to find sponsors for all of the activities we dreamed up.
The Elks took charge of the Chili Cookoff! Thank you to Gary Washburn and Don Tallman for all the help from our local Elks.
We needed help with the Nerf Battle Royale for sure. We are so thankful that our Rotarians stepped up to support this second Battle. Then we needed help with parking, Rotary members from the Susitna and Wasilla Sunrise groups came to help us as well. Thank you so much to all of you, especially to Don Poulton who goes over and over and over and above for anyone who asks.
We wanted a place for kids to paint pumpkins! Discovery Dental went the extra mile and provided 100 pumpkins for kids to paint for free, along with judging and prizes for the winners. Thank you Discovery Dental Team for making that happen.
A Dessert Bake off? YUM! First National Bank’s Marty Crow and Somer Mahfouz were the driving forces behind that tasty endeavor. Again – thank you for your time and energy into this event.
The Sleeping Lady Lions put together a Pie Eating Contest! Another yummy event. Josh Morrisett and Mary Meechum did an excellent job putting that together.
I met Cody Moray and her team at Keller Williams when doing an article about a donation they made to the Harvest Food Pantry. She was onboard with the Fall Festival and all it was about right away. She is an all-in kind of woman, and she and her team took on the Haunted Forest with gusto.
Felica Hanna deserves a huge shout out. I would have to call her the Creative Director for the Haunted Forest if I thought she needed a title, but she doesn’t. I asked her to work with Cody and her team because she loves Halloween, and she is the most creative person I know. Thank you, Felicia, for stepping up, and being willing to step outside of your comfort zone.
Dana Patterson and the Chugiak-Eagle River Chamber of Commerce was a wealth of information and supported our efforts all the way. Thank you so much.
Huge thanks to Ron Lauren of Garcia’s Cantina, Eagle River Dental, and Extreme Heating for stepping up as well. These folks wanted to participate, but couldn’t commit to running an event the day-of. So, they did the next best thing – they supported the event financially by allowing us to have live music and our amazing announcer, Jared Woods. Thank you for your support.
That brings me to Jared Woods! What a treat for us to have him for the whole day. It was great to have live music and a DJ. He was also a bit of saving grace, as we really didn’t have the experience to handle the sound setup. Thank you so much, Jared, for all of your help.
Minions. We have to thank the minions. We could not have done this without the minions. I wish I had each of your names to thank you. Instead, I will say this: The Eagle River High School JROTC kids ROCK. You really do. Thank you for volunteering your time to help us out. Thank you for doing hard work, dirty work, cold work. Salina Brightbill, your THANK YOU is in capital letters because, without you, we would not have had minions… and we needed them. Thanks also to Lt. Col (retired) David Ennis and CMSgt (retired) Bill McNew for loaning them out.