News

It's all about the kids

Swedesburg-Olds Fun Day active, social event for all

GTNS photo by Grace King

Adrian Greiser, 6, of Mt. Pleasant, plays corn hole with his dad Andrew Greiser in Swedesburg during Swedesburg-Olds Fun Day on Saturday, June 15.
GTNS photo by Grace King Adrian Greiser, 6, of Mt. Pleasant, plays corn hole with his dad Andrew Greiser in Swedesburg during Swedesburg-Olds Fun Day on Saturday, June 15.
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SWEDESBURG — Children ran freely from a bouncy house to an obstacle course to the face-painting and bubble station in front of the Parish Hall in Swedesburg during Swedesburg-Olds Fun Day on Saturday, June 15.

Despite early-morning drizzle and lightning, Swedesburg-Olds Fun Day brought out over 70 kids and their parents, first to Olds United Church of Christ for face-painting and coloring, then to the Parish Hall in Swedesburg for more activities and a light lunch.

Christina Seitz watched over her cousin Indy Browning, 2, as she climbed through the obstacle course set up outside the Parish Hall in Swedesburg.

Christina said she saw the event on Facebook and thought it would be an awesome activity for the kids. She said that while Indy didn’t seem to understand the obstacle course, it was clear she enjoyed it, especially the red Popsicle she got when she completed the obstacle course.

“I’m going to get as many kids here next year as possible,” Christina said.

Carma Seitz, of Wayland, followed around Liam Browning, 3, of Mt. Pleasant, as he explored all the activities offered during Swedesburg-Olds Fun Day.

Seitz said his favorite thing so far has been blowing bubbles.

“I think it’s awesome they do this for the community and the kids. That’s what it’s all about, the kids,” Seitz said.

Chad and Valerie Goldenberg brought their two-year-old daughter Aurora to Swedesburg-Olds Fun Day. The little family is from Illinois, but happened to be in Swedesburg to visit family. Chad said when they heard about Swedesburg-Olds Fun Day, they thought Aurora might have a little bit of fun and get tired out for the adults to visit the Swedesburg Museum later that day.

“It’s neat to visit and see (Chad’s mother’s) roots. This is a fun way to do that,” Valerie said.

Kelly Carr, Henry County Public Health community outreach coordinator, canceled the fun bike ride, run and walk from Olds United Church of Christ to the Parish Hall in Swedesburg early Saturday morning because of lightning. While the weather was a little drizzly as families arrived at Olds United Church of Christ Saturday morning, by the time everyone traveled to the Parish Hall in Swedesburg, the clouds began to part.

“I’m just glad it’s nice enough to have the bouncy house,” Carr said.

While Swedesburg-Olds Fun Day began with Healthy Henry County Communities (HHCC) Coalition, Carr said that Olds United Church of Christ and Swedesburg Evangelical Lutheran Church and the Swedesburg and Olds community members have really taken the organizing and volunteer staffing of the event upon themselves.

“Healthy Henry Counties is a catalyst to get events started and then for the community to take the event and make it their own,” Carr said.

Carr said Swedesburg-Olds Fun Day fits in with the HHCC Coalition’s Healthy Hometown tactics to find ways for communities be social, get fit and eat healthy.

Barb Shelman, with Olds United Church of Christ, said that she likes to help promote the family-fun activity every year. She and her husband helped build the obstacle course that children raced on outside the Parish Hall in Swedesburg. “So they’re not couch potatoes,” she said.

Janey Lauer, with Swedesburg Evangelical Lutheran Church, said the fun day is a great collaboration of the two churches, and helps people now that Olds and Swedesburg are “vibrant, friendly little communities.”

“I think it’s important people don’t just drive by Swedesburg, that there are things here. We’re more than just the little town with the straw goat,” Lauer said