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Service clubs band together for family fun day event Sunday at the Elmira Legion

Area service clubs have partnered to create the second annual Community and Family Barbecue Fun Day on September 9.

“Our main objective for this is bringing back that community feel,” explained Dawn Shuh, convener of the Royal Canadian Legion’s Elmira branch. “Because our goal, collectively as service groups, is community service. So it’s open to foodies, families, and friends of all ages. Anybody can come.”

The Royal Canadian Legion, the Optimist Club, Lions Club, Knights of Columbus, Kiwanis Club, and Woolwich Lions are all involved with the collaboration. This is the first year that the service clubs have collaborated for the event. Each group will make its own contribution; local businesses will also be prominently featured throughout the event.

Organizers are expecting a similar turnout to last years’ event that drew more than 500 people.

“It started out last year with Canada 150,” explained Mary Ellen Genereux, co-convener for the Elmira Legion. “We wanted to do something with that. We were trying to incorporate Remembrance Day into one big fundraising event.

“Unfortunately, our Remembrance Day flyover didn’t work, because there was so much fog that day that the planes couldn’t go up. But that’s what got us going, wanting to do something for Canada 150.”

The group has changed little to the event this year, given the success of last years’ barbecue. It will feature jumping castles, a petting zoo (including typical farm animals – donkeys, goats, rabbits and the like), and the band “Cowboy Up,” scheduled to play off and on all day starting shortly after 11 a.m.

“We also have our local kids’ groups come out; so, a dance troupe will come out during the bands’ breaks,” said Shuh. They’ll do a little entertainment. There’s a karate dojo; the baton-twirlers are coming out, the scouts are coming out to do a log saw.”

“Of course, we have the food. That’s the main attraction – people come for lunch,” added Genereux with a laugh.

Attendees can look forward to their choice of food, with options such as hamburgers, hot dogs, fries, ice cream, snow cones and cotton candy.

There will also be a play area for children, a war memorabilia interactive display, and a silent auction.

“Since Elmira no longer has a fall fair or the street dance for community events, this is a small substitution to get families out for an afternoon of fun,” added Genereux.

“Our hope is that the weather will be perfect, the dancing will be lively, and the families will come out in droves,” said Shuh.

The Royal Canadian Legion is Canada’s largest veteran and community service organization.

For anyone interested in attending the event, it is open to all at the Elmira Legion building, 11 First St. E., from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. on September 9.

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