Family Fest taking shape

The 2014 Family Fest is only a month away. It is to run 10 a.m.-2 p.m. April 5 at the Tiffin YMCA. The theme, “All Aboard for Family Fun,” is to focus on water and water safety.

Many of the participants from previous years are returning, while others are new to Family Fest.

Last week, the planning committee met at Community Hospice Care to continue discussion and arrangements for the event. Dennis Wilkinson presided at the meeting. The agencies represented at the meeting were: Tiffin YMCA, Community Hospice Care, Tiffin Optimist Club, United Way, SMYL, Seneca County Firemen’s Association, Seneca County Job and Family Services, Victims’ Assistance, WTTF, Bloomville Police Department and Heidelberg and Tiffin universities’ international student programs.

The Department of Job and Family Services is organizing a 5K for child abuse prevention awareness before Family Fest opens. Registration opens at 8 a.m. with runners departing at 8:30. Local law enforcement agencies and first responders are to have their vehicles on display outside the YMCA and people from their departments inside talking with the public and giving demonstrations.

The Fremont Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol has agreed to send a trooper to Family Fest, and possibly its Teddy Trooper mascot.

Arrows are to be placed on the floor to direct foot traffic around the two gyms at the YMCA. Brian Tippin again is to have his annual non-perishable food drive. The Tiffin Optimist Club will be helping with Safety City, providing bike helmets and selling refreshments. Victims Assistance will again offer pepperoni rolls, soda and water.

Jeff Feasel is to bring in his photo booth again this year. WTSC and WTTF will do live remote broadcasts, and WTSC will provide a PA system for the Field House. Local ham radio operators are to have a booth and demonstrations.

Bliss Library is donating books that will be set up with the United Way tables. A “Free Store” is to be open with many giveaway items. CARSA will have 800 plastic bags available to carry home free materials and information.

Paramount Advantage is to donate $1,200 toward entertainment and inflatables by Jumpers Wild, and the Friends of the Library are to donate $50.

Pat DeMonte wrote a grant for $600 to be used for the purchase of water/safety flotation devices (“noodles”). The YMCA will buy about 250 if the grant is received and give them to those who come to the water safety program noon-1 p.m. during Family Fest. Any extras are to be stored for next year.

The pool is to be available for free swimming 1-2 p.m.

Students from Tiffin and Heidelberg universities are to be asked to volunteer with setting up and tearing down. Key Club members also are being contacted. Mascot costumes are to be available, but volunteers are needed to wear them and walk about.

Participants are still welcome to register for Family Fest. March 21 is the deadline to sign up. For-profit participants must pay $25 for a table and two chairs. They must request an extra table on the registration form or they will not get one. Non-profit organizations can take part at no charge, but they must bring their own tables and chairs.

Each booth is encouraged to conduct its own drawing, with small prizes from the organizations being awarded every 15 minutes. The registration booth is to have drawings every 30 minutes for a few larger prizes.

To volunteer, make a donation, request a registration form or get more information, call Dennis at (419) 937-7128.

The next Family Fest meeting will be at noon March 14 at Community Hospice Care.