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May 29, 2014

Family Fun Day brings community together

MILLEDGEVILLE — Years ago when local business owner Tracy Harper wanted to do something to give back to the community, she didn't realize that her family-oriented event would bring the community together and grow with each year.

The seventh annual Family Fun Day is slated for Saturday at the Central State Hospital Pecan Groove from noon to 5 p.m.  Festivities will include food, games, a playhouse waterslide, clown entertainment, and music — all free of charge for the community.

Harper has actually hosted the event for nine years.

"The first two years I did it as a way to give back to the community for their support, but after the third year, I realized that this went beyond a way to say thanks and I decided to make it an annual occasion," she said.

Through the support of her church, Flipper Chapel, Pastor David Luke and area sponsors, she is able to bring Family Fun Day to Baldwin County annually.

“I think it’s going to be a wonderful event and we thank God for Tracy Harper and the committment she gives to it each year,” Pastor Luke said.

Each year, Harper says God speaks to her, instructing her to add additional activities to the program that are designed to bring the community together.

This year, the fun day will recognize two members of the community, a 21-year-old woman and a 16-year-old boy, that are surviving health ailments.

Three scholarship awards for college bound students will also be available.

"The drawing is for any student who has already been accepted into a college. They must bring the original acceptance letter from the school in order to enter," Harper said.

In addition to the scholarship awards will be a special prize giveaway of a car. To enter, students must have a valid driver's license and an A/B grade point average. Both driver's license and the most recent report card must be presented at the event in order to be entered into the prize giveaway.

Harper's faith is very important to her. She said she listened to God's voice when he first instructed her to start the Family Fun Day event. This year he moved her spirit to alternate the time of the festivities.

"I usually do the event around Mother's Day, but this year I was unmotivated for some reason and something told me to delay it till the end of May."

By delaying the date of Family Fun Day, Harper said preparations ran smoother than past years and she was able to include more activities and games that she hadn't thought of before.

Harper does not host the event to receive special recognition; she simply wants to provide a place for the community to bring their family and enjoy each other without having to spend a lot of money.

"It makes me happy to see the smile on kids' faces and to see parents interacting with their children without having to spend an arm and a leg to do something together," she said.

For more information or to volunteer to help with the event call Harper at 478-454-7556.

 

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