On Saturday, May 11, 524 special guests came to the Activity Fair at The Aud at the Norfolk County Fairgrounds. That’s 357 adults and 167 children! 41 activities were designed especially for them, including 10 free stores, 3 table shops, 9 personal services, 2 Mother’s Day gift activities, 13 game and prize tables, 2 restaurants, and 1 entertainment. 10 agencies/groups/ organizations set up displays on our resource row. There were also administrative roles including the registration crew, survey team, security guys and event photographers. The Guest Luncheon, held upstairs at the Rec Centre, served pulled pork on a bun, caesar salad, and kettle chips to 164 diners. The volunteers were also treated to a lunch of chili, nachos and salsa. And the Cafe served everyone all afternoon … coffee, juice and water, cookies, cupcakes, popcorn from our very own popcorn maker, snack mix and icecream. Over 75 prizes, treasures and gift baskets were won, gifted or delivered, along with 6 new instant-win-ticket special gift draws.
The Ride Norfolk bus offered free service to and from The Aud, and wherever the passengers wanted to go en route. There were 2 activities around town – kudos to the awesome garbage cleanup crew of 10 who filled litter bags downtown along the river, in parks and alleys, and our caring gals that visited with and gave lovely tulips to the residents at the Simcoe Heritage and Cedarwood Village Retirement Homes.
All this happened because of 241 volunteers – 221 adults and 20 kids. There were many more who helped behind the scenes, those we know of and those we don’t. 5 volunteers gathered, sorted, cleaned and prepared donated items in the month prior… 16 of our volunteers drove in from outside-our-county to serve, and 17 friends of The Friendship Group served together running the WBIS Café.
On Sunday, May 19, the day began with lovely weather, but turned windy and rainy in the later afternoon, and the fire marshall advised against the fireworks for safety reasons. Monday’s rain date wasn’t any better, and for the first time, The Fireworks Celebration was cancelled. The community and all those involved in the planning and preparation were disappointed to say the least.
25 of our local churches supported WBIS this year – by recruiting volunteers, and taking on the challenge to collect almost 2200 items for the grocery store. 52 businesses, groups and individuals gave food, prizes, supplies and other items. 42 local agencies, club and programs helped with promotion, services, or products. Of special mention is our Norfolk County Council who supported WBIS again with a generous grant, Roulston’s Pharmacy who collected community donations of personal products for the grocery store, several local farmers who gifted fresh nutritious produce for The Activity Fair, and Calvary Church who so generously gives to offer The Fireworks Celebration.
Our photographers have once again worked hard to capture We Believe in Simcoe with their fancy and expensive cameras. Enjoy the pictures and a video memoir elsewhere on this website.
Our warmest THANK YOU to each and all of our volunteers for giving of your time, energy, and heart, to make We Believe in Simcoe yet again a marvelous manifestation of what really matters … people being with people, encouraging people, enjoying people, serving people, loving people…
We Believe in Simcoe is a project of Church Out Serving, whose vision is “a community that loves and is transformed by it.” We Believe in Simcoe plays a role in this vision.