No one was sure what to expect from Huss Future Fest 2018 in the week leading up to the event. A couple of our favorite partners had to cancel and the chance of rain was up to 100%. As we scrambled to implement a rain backup plan, we wondered: will anyone show up?
And wow, did people show up! Once again, we were amazed and thankful as our community came together for a day of fun, food, art, music, and so much more. As one of our first-year volunteers observed, Huss Future Fest is one of the most diverse events in our community, with people from a wide range of ages and backgrounds genuinely enjoying themselves and one another. This is exactly what we hope to see!
This year, new committee members Kim and Nicole jumped right into things to make the rummage and bake sales smashing successes. Elisabeth completed her cross-Atlantic sailing journey just in time to reprise her role as the farmers market coordinator. Deborah steered the Community Carnival in a perfectly celebratory direction while Andy recruited excellent musicians. Rob and I filled in the gaps with the facility, signage, promotion, and other logistics, while Julie held the whole thing together as our chairperson, plus coordinating visual art and food vendors. Angela helped fill in when Julie was out of town and came back from a training just in time to rock the photo booth all day long. And that’s just the committee! We had dozens of other volunteers, local and from out of town, who helped with set-up, staffing, and clean-up, not to mention all of our incredible partner organizations and artists.
Here are a few special thank you’s to some of our organizational partners this year:
- To Three Rivers Area Faith Community for coordinating the Back to School Celebration, especially Minister Diane Clay, Cymantha Channey, and the Cheeks family.
- Frankie’s By the Tracks for donating pizza to go along with the backpacks and school supplies.
- Three Rivers Community Schools for the loan of a food warmer for the pizza.
- New Jerusalem Baptist Church for the incredible food and music—delicious use of the farmers market veggies!
- Mike from Weenie Kings for showing up even though it was his wedding anniversary! (And wasn’t Pastor Bennett celebrating an anniversary that day, too?)
- Corey Lake Orchards, White Yarrow Farm, Bair Lane Farm, Sustainable Greens, and the Huss Project Farm for donating veggies to the farmers market (and Corey Lake donuts for the bake sale).
- The Brass Rail, Andy and Tara, Violet Native for amazing us all with their musical talent (and bringing their family members out to enjoy the gig).
- Our fabulous Community Carnival organizations who provided kid-friendly activities along with their info: River Country Solidarity, Kinship Care Support Group of St. Joseph County, St. Joseph County Literacy Council, Community Action Carol Shippy Head Start, Domestic and Sexual Abuse Services, Covered Bridge Health Care, Early Head Start-Childcare Partnership with the Great Start Collaborative, Animal Rescue Fund, St. Joseph County Transportation Authority, Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph County Community Health Agency and My Community Dental Centers, and Habitat for Humanity.
- Camp Tavor for preparation help, the photo booth backdrop, and the loan of a beautiful mural.
- Our artists who loaned work for the gallery and brought work for sale: Richard Price, Valerie VanOrden, Julia Vanderelzen, Brittany Bee Myers, Gail Walters, Deborah Haak, Elizabeth Brennan, and Eliana and Kayla Wasserman.
And a HUGE thank you to all of our bakers, rummage donors and organizers, artists, and volunteers. We all truly create this event both WITH and FOR our community, which speaks to a basic truth that is key to the Huss Project’s existence: we need each other. When we live our lives in that awareness, amazing things can happen, like 1,000+ people coming together on a gray Saturday to raise $8,000 (and counting) for a community project, while having a ton of fun and celebrating our collective creativity in the process. Now that’s the future we seek to live in NOW with Huss Future Fest!
Until next year, friends, and be sure to mark your calendar for July 27, 2019, which will the tenth annual Future Festival and the 100th anniversary of Huss School. It’s sure to be the biggest and best Fest yet!