TrTribune: We’re Here for You; April 2013

Shameless plug of the day…….like us on Facebook!

“Beautiful Scenery, Great Food, Friendly People, Classic Bluegrass and Fun for All Ages.” That’s the motto we’ve adopted and the best way to explain one of the ways Foothills Family Resources (FFR) provides the income needed to move our neighbors from crisis to self-sufficiency.  The 11th Annual Strawberry Festival Strawberry, presented by the Bank of Travelers Rest, is not only a great way to usher in the summer with thousands of other festival goers, it’s one way that you can help provide services to the less fortunate in Cleveland, Marietta, Slater and Travelers Rest. Please come join us on May 4!

 

Start the day with breakfast

The day begins at 8 a.m. with a pancake breakfast provided by FFR’s dedicated Board of Directors. Pancakes, sausage, strawberries freshly picked locally at Beachwood Farms, Leopard Forrest Coffee, orange juice and all the fixins. Breakfast will be served at FFR’s community room on 3 Main St in Slater.

$4 Adults, $2 Children

 

Stay for Bluegrass, festival food and fun

After breakfast stroll up to the beautiful grounds of Slater Hall to enjoy a full day of spring weather, Cherry Blossoms and a festival atmosphere. The day will begin with the raising of the colors by Boy Scout Troop 007 accompanied by the Slater-Marietta Elementary School Green Wave Choir’s perfect rendition of the Star Spangled Banner. The musical performances that follow include the Young Appalachian Musicians Sweet Potato Pie Kids and the West End String Band, both based out of upstate South Carolina. Festivities begin at 10 a.m. and end at 4 p.m.

 

The Strawberry Festival is kid friendly, of course. Arts and Crafts activities provided by another nonprofit organization, Blue Wall Group, along with a playground and inflatable rides will provide opportunities for life long memories and ensure early bedtimes that night.

 

And of course, the food! Vendors from throughout the region will cure every festival craving. Items to be offered include BBQ, smoked turkey legs, Italian Sausage, hot dogs, hamburgers, snow cones, slushies, chocolate dipped cheesecake, funnel cakes, strawberry shortcake, strawberry cobbler and much more.

 

Check out UpstateStrawberryFestival.com for more information.

 

Get Involved

As you probably know if you’ve been partaking in this conversation, I always try to provide a way you can help the cause. It’s a true pleasure to let you know that one way you can help is by coming, participating and eating! FFR receives a percentage of income from all food sold at the festival. By merely enjoying some bbq, washing it down with a slushie and finishing it off with some strawberry shortcake you are helping to support your neighbors in need.

 

Another way you can support this mission is to become a sponsor of the festival.  By doing this you not only gain visibility for you or your organization, you join the sponsors below in helping provide food, education and counseling to the residents of Northern Greenville County.  Please contact me for more information on sponsorship opportunities.

 

Finally, volunteers are always need for an event like this.  Please contact me if you would like to enjoy a beautiful spring day while helping supporting FFR’s mission.

 


TRTribune: We’re Here for You; June 2013

As anyone that works in the nonprofit industry will agree, planning and executing a fundraising event like the Strawberry Festival, can be very challenging. Recruiting sponsors, volunteers and vendors along with all the minute details is a yearlong undertaking.  Luckily I am blessed with a talented staff that is willing to go outside of their “job description” in order to make the Strawberry Festival something this community can be proud of.

One thing we cannot control is weather, which can make or break an event. Last year’s festival saw clear blue skies while this year we were graced with clouds, a poor forecast and eventually rain which shut the show down an hour early. Last year had seasonal temperatures in the 80’s, this year was unseasonably cold with temperatures dipping into the mid 50’s. Last year saw thousands of festival goers enjoying good food, blue grass music and a festive atmosphere as can only be imagined in a Rockwell painting.  The 2013 Strawberry Festival saw the exact same thing.

As an organization, we have no choice but to accept the weather as is comes and do our best to make lemonade out of lemons. As festival goers, the community has no such obligation. But this community did. As I looked out over the grounds of Slater Hall, I was amazed to see thousands people enjoying hot dogs, BBQ, strawberry shortcake and even snow cones. Everywhere I looked, people dressed in raincoats, jeans and even winter hats were enjoying the craft vendors and listening to music. The grounds were essentially flooded in lemonade!

On behalf of the Board of Directors and staff of Foothills Family Resources, please accept my gratitude for believing that good weather is not a prerequisite for fun at the Strawberry Festival. For understanding that a sausage dog goes just as well with hot coffee as it does with sweet tea. Finally, for accepting that good family fun sometimes means dancing in rain….

The staff at Foothills Family Resources and Blue Wall Group have already started to plan a bigger and better Strawberry Festival for 2014 and we promise a good time, rain or shine.  Look forward to seeing you there!