Fall Festival mixes good times with good deeds

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MEEKER I For the eighth consecutive year, Meeker residents and visitors will gather downtown on a crisp fall day to enjoy good food and fun family activities all while supporting local non-profit groups.The annual Fall Festival, sponsored by Mountain Valley Bank, WREA and Enterprise Products, has expanded every year since its inception, adding new activities to a growing list of community favorites. Last year, more than 800 people attended the festival, generating more than $9,500 for 13 non-profit groups. As in previous years, everyone who signs in will receive $5 in Bank Bucks just for showing up. The Bank Bucks can be “spent” at any of the booths throughout the day. Extra “bucks” can be earned by donating non-perishable food items to “Fill the Trough” for the Meeker Food Bank. “This year, the ERBM Recreation and Park District is sponsoring and organizing the Fall Festival Challenge,” said Tawny Halandras, Mountain Valley Bank president.The challenge encourages people of all ages to participate in the various activity booths, earning points throughout the day to qualify for the finale. In the past, the challenge closed with a toy assembly contest. While individuals will still have to participate in the five Fall Festival Challenge games to qualify for the finale, this year there will be four separate age categories and the final contest will involve numerous challenges within a scavenger hunt. Prizes will be Visa gift cards of various denominations. Once again the Cooley Zagar-Brown, PC, Pie and Salsa Contest will pit  Meeker’s best chefs against each other while raising funds for Meals on Wheels. The pies and salsas are auctioned at noon.Work up an appetite for pie, salsa and all the other goodies by taking part in the 6th annual Scrub Shirt Classic 5K Run/Walk and one mile Fun Walk, sponsored by Pioneers Medical Center. This year’s run is in memory of Clem and Mary Clark to raise funds for Cystic Fibrosis research, the disease claimed both their lives.“Mountain Valley Bank and its co-sponsors bring the Meeker community this event with a strong sense of pride and accomplishment,” Halandras said.  “We have enjoyed seven successful festivals raising funds for non-profits and celebrating with all of you. We cannot think of a better way to celebrate the coming of fall. The community has a great opportunity to get out and visit, eat and play with their neighbors. The various non-profit groups that are integral to our community have the opportunity to raise funds for their individual causes. It cannot be with a greater sense of community that I personally invite you to the Fall Festival,” she added. The Fall Festival starts at 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 24 at 4th and Main in Meeker.