Sat, Oct 19, 2019
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Willapa Harbor Herald • Town Crier
Traveler's Companion
(360) 942-3466 • PO Box 706, Raymond, WA 98577

Without More Volunteers Labor Day Celebration Could Be a Thing of the Past

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I know this is becoming a standard cry in our community, but unless people step up to help out and take more active rolls, there will not be a Labor Day celebration in 2014. No Grand Parade, no Kiwanis Breakfast, no Kayak Poker Paddle, no Salmon Derby, no Kiddie Races, no Kiddie Parade, no Pole Walk, no Duck Race and NO FIREWORKS. If you look forward to these events and have some time to donate, please call me!

The list of losses is long...yet it does not mention the vendors or other assorted activities; or the almost year-round fund raising it takes to make Labor Day happen. It costs $20,000 to put on this festival. A lot of it comes in during the weekend through events, but many of the events that happen during Labor Day are free and we have made it a priority to keep them that way. This means that there is a nearly yearlong list of fundraisers that need to be held to meet our financial requirement. We hold dinners, prepare lunches, conduct raffles, hold bake sales and anything else we can think of to bring in money. We could really use some fresh ideas and talent!

With it already being almost the middle of February, the committee would need to really get organized to start holding fundraisers, and at this point, there is no committee. The committee consists of whoever chairs the festival, plus the folks running the individual events, plus anyone else that is willing to come to the meetings and help out with the various fundraisers. At this point, we need someone to do each of the following events: Grand Parade, Salmon Derby, someone to keep the books and act as treasurer, someone to coordinate the vendors and other tasks as they come up.

If we get a good group of people who will help carry the burden of the fundraisers and to chair the individual events, I would be willing to be the festival chair again this year, but ONLY if we get more participation. There needs to be more people in our community with some experience in this. I know people think if they come to a meeting they will get sucked into a year's worth of commitment. But I am telling you if we get enough folks to just do their little part of it, it can be really enjoyable to pull it together. And, the reward at seeing the festival succeed is tremendous!

We have worked so hard to bring this festival back and I really think that the past couple years (especially the 50th in 2012) have been really successful and a ton of fun. I would hate to see it cease to exist. We are poised to have the Hydroplane boats come back this year, but I can’t call them unless I know we have a committee to commit to them and they to us.

One last observation to those of you under 40 or so: If you don’t start getting involved in your community and it’s organizations and functions, it is going to wither and die as you remember it from your childhood. This is the one group I see missing (with a few exceptions) in any of the organizations that are struggling to survive. Put your cell phones and IPads to work and volunteer some of your time! It truly is enjoyable and worthwhile. We need your energy! Decide what interests you and GET INVOLVED!

Labor Day is one of the invisible bonds that makes it special to be from this area. A time of reunion and reconnection as so many people ‘come home for Labor Day’. When I say it breaks my heart, that is not an exaggeration...to see it go down on my watch truly does that, but our group is too small and we have lost a couple key members this last year, so the handwriting is on the wall and the need urgent.

Please call me if you feel you can be involved. If I hear from enough people, I will set a meeting…if not there are not enough left to have a meeting. With many regards and wonderful memories... Lisa Olsen 942-8155.

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