Fall Festival 2013: Community joins to aid non-profits, have fun

MEEKER I Downtown Meeker will be buzzing from 11 a.m. to mid afternoon on Saturday as Mountain Valley Bank hosts its 10th annual Fall Festival with co-sponsors White River Electric Association (WREA) and the ERBM Recreation and Park District for the benefit of local non-profit fund-raising efforts.
Tawny Halandras, president and COO of Mountain Valley Bank, said of the event, “We are proud to be sponsoring this event, but the entire idea is to get area residents into town for great food, great games and a lot of fun in an effort to help area non-profit fund-raising groups offer entertainment and great concessions while earning funds that will help them on their annual missions.
“We have some new vendors this year and a new prize-winning contest that will be added to the usual great food and fun games for all ages,” she said. “This is a great time for the community to come together, see old friends, have a wonderful time and help these groups raise funds for their projects, which seem to always come back and help the community.
Over the past couple of years, the Fall Festival has seen between 900 and 1,000 participants and raised between $12,000 and $15,000 for these groups, Halandras said.
“We’d like to see the funds raised beyond $15,000 this year,” she said.
Halandras said the organizers hope to accomplish five things this year with the Fall Festival: a fund-raiser for area non-profit groups; to get all members of the community involved in some way, be it through working the festival or coming to enjoy the food, beverages, and games as well as have a fun time; to visit and support the non-profit groups because those non-profit groups come back and support the community and the more money that is raised, the more money that will come back into the community; to offer great food and fun, featuring things such as burgers, hot dogs, brisket, pork and other entrees as well as offer games that appeal to all ages; and to have fun with a new prize-winning effort in which those who win tickets at the various games can turn those tickets in for a prize.
The sponsors are even “chipping” in to make the event more enjoyable.
Every person who attends the Fall Festival will be given $5 in Mountain Valley Bank Bucks that can be spent as real cash $5 on food or games at the event. If there is a family of four, say, ranging in age from three years to adult, all four members of that family will each receive their $5, or $20 in total, in Mountain Valley Bank Bucks, she said.
“We want people to come and get their $5 chips and to spend those dollars along with some dollars of their own so it is a success for all,” Halandras said. “The more money these groups make, the more these groups can do in return.”
As of Monday, there are 31 different food or game booths and 22 groups doing fund-raising at the event, she said, adding that each booth will be selling items that are not duplicated at any other booth.
“There may be one booth selling certain soft drinks, another may be selling only hamburgers, another may be selling only hot dogs, etc., but there will be no duplicates,” Halandras said.
There will also be an obstacle course that will have competitions in separate age categories, she said, and the tickets will also be tied into using the obstacle course.