Yelm Prairie Christian Center held its locally famous Family Fun Festival on Oct. 31 with an eye toward Woody, Buzz Lightyear and the gang.
“The theme this year was the Disney movie ‘Toy Story,’” said Susie Carlson, wife of Pastor Brad Carlson. “We started getting phone calls from the community more than a month before Halloween asking if we were having the festival this year.”
For weeks before the event, the church heard from community members asking about the event.
Meilin Adamski, a member of the church, was the coordinator.
“This was my third or fourth year doing this,” she said. “It’s so much fun, but a lot of work. It would never get done without many people helping.”
Adamski roped her family into helping.
Her mother, Vivian Rivera, helped paint standout pictures of “Toy Story” characters such as Bullseye, the horse, in the various movies. The last couple of days before the festival were especially intense. Even Adamski’s young daughter, Jessica, who was home from school sick, came with her mom to the church and helped paint.
Many members of the church and even some who aren’t members helped with putting up decorations, preparing food, readying the two bounce houses, setting up games such as a treasure chest and cupcake walk, volunteering for the actual event and bringing candy and gifts.
Adamski said they began the Festival with eight huge plastic containers filled with candy and that “we gave out every bit of it.”
They served more than 400 slices of pizza, 400 bags of popcorn and 300 bags of cotton candy. In the dining area, in addition to pizza, people munched on cookies and had a choice of soft drinks and water.
“Everything was free. Food, games, raffle tickets, everything,” said Adamski.
From the minute parents and children came into the church, they were handed raffle tickets, candy and bags if they didn’t bring any to carry their loot home.
Adamski thanked the businesses that donated to the event, which included La Gitana, Pizza Hut, Walmart and Puerto Vallarta for gift cards. Safeway donated cupcakes. Chehalis Sheet Metal in Tumwater and the Skinner family donated children’s bikes for the raffle.
“The smiles on the kids’ faces is such a joy when they win a bike,” Adamski said.
Members of the church donated the gift baskets that were raffled off. The main hallway and corridors were decorated by Shauna Carpenter, Hannah Craudell, Eyn Bowers, Barb Baun and Marla Collison.
“Rainier Booster Club did the popcorn. Yelm and Rainier High School students helped as well,” she said.
“The event just gets bigger every year,” she added.