Party in West Dundee after Lions Club member gets involved
By Erin Sauder For Sun-Times Media October 13, 2013 8:56PM
Updated: November 15, 2013 6:11AM
WEST DUNDEE — As the economy took a turn for the worse, one local couple decided some fun, free events were needed to pull the community together.
So in 2009, Jill Harris, with the help of her husband Duane, put on several activities in the village, including Dundee Dog Days, a sports day in the park, and a water balloon fight, among others.
The couple’s Halloween parties, held in 2009 and 2010, were an especially big hit.
“(But ) in 2011 it became a bit overwhelming for just the two of us to run the entire event,” Jill Harris said. “This included everything from gathering donations to getting volunteers.”
They were not able to continue putting on the parties.
Dundee Lions Club member Michael Dewey knew what a hit they had been. So earlier this year he got in touch with Harris and offered his help in bringing it back. They sought permission from the village and with the help of about 20 volunteers, the show will go on.
“The town supported us 100 percent as they are they are the ones who heard from the town families who missed this event,” Harris said.
The Grafelman Park Halloween Party will be held from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26, and is open to all West Dundee and area residents. The entry fee for the event will be a canned or boxed food donation for the FISH Food Pantry.
Event festivities will include an arts and crafts project, a pumpkin decorating contest, games, a hay bale maze, hay wagon rides, costume contest, costume parade, photo opportunities, scavenger hunt and face painting.
Prizes donated by local businesses will be awarded, and drinks and snacks will be served.
There will also be a Halloween House Decorating Contest. Prior to the event, a few volunteers will review all the decorated houses on the hay wagon route and rate the top 10 houses. On the hayride, kids and parents will receive a ballot with which they can vote for their favorite decorated home. The winner of the contest will receive a gift certificate. Homeowners on the route will be notified about the contest so they can decide if they want to participate.
“It gives people something to do on the hayride, and in addition it gets the community involved because they’ll want to decorate their houses,” Dewey said.
He enjoys community events like these.
“We have Heritage Fest and that will flow into the Halloween party and shortly after will be Dickens in Dundee,” he said. “(These events) make this town a nice place to live.”
Dewey hopes to see the Halloween party return next year.
“We are planning on this being an annual event,” he said.
For more information about this event, contact Dewey at email@example.com or Jill Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org.