Editorials


What ? No Trunk or Treat this year, Oh My!
By Cheryl Killam    9-17-19

Over the years Raymond has had some wonderful community events for families to enjoy that are organized and coordinated by residents, not the recreation department.  However, Raymond may be losing many of its community events that residents have come to expect each year.  It seems that it is always the same people who volunteer over and over in our town.

We already lost the Winter Carnival at Riverside Park and the Christmas Parade on the Common a few years ago.  Sadly, the Trunk or Treat event is not happening this October and the word is out that the 4th of July Parade will not happen in 2020.  What’s next?…… the Town Fair or the Festival of Trees, Arts in the Park or maybe even the Soccer Club?

All of those activities are organized and coordinated by people who volunteer their time, many of them after working a full-time job,and have been involved in one way or another with some of them for 10 to 15 years. Many of those volunteers are burnt out and new volunteers need to step up.

Do you realize the New Life Church (NLC) started planning the Trunk or Treat event during the summer, and needed upwards of 40 volunteers to provide the kids with a safe fun event for 2 hours on a Friday night in October?  They made lots of phone calls and sent emails to all the various entities that set up the parking lot with port-a-potties, cones, lines and flags for the vehicles; trucks with spot lights; the local police department, fire department and ambulance; all the businesses and organizations who participate for the kids enjoyment. They needed people walking around the parking lot to help keep Moms, Dads and Kids moving through the displays and they needed people to cook and sell the food that had been graciously donated by Tuckaway Tavern.  This would have been the 5th Annual Trunk or Treat but those volunteers are burnt out and need a break.

Are you aware that it is the very same people at the New Life Church who took over hosting the 4th of July parade over 5 years ago when the prior committee needed a break?  Now it’s time for the NLC volunteers to take their break and open up spots for more new volunteers if the parade is to continue.

Did you know that the Town Fair is organized by a committee of 5 volunteers and they are lucky to pull in 6 other event coordinators to help at different activities around the town common, during the fair that runs for 3 days? They start planning the fair in January meeting monthly and then in June they meet every other week to finalize the booths, concessions, events including the parade, fireworks, races and more. The Raymond Town Fair has been run by many different people in the past, with the same people in place for 5 years now, but they always need new people on the committee to bring in new ideas and energy.

Did you know the Festival of Trees planning starts in August with a committee of 5 local business owners?  Again, once the location is secured, phone calls and emails need to be made, publicity is posted wide and far and tree donations are coordinated.

After all the trees are setup for the public to come view, the same 5 committee volunteers are sitting there for 6 to 12 hours each day to sell the raffle tickets and watch that no trees come crashing down.  On Sunday afternoon all the tree winner names are pulled and the trees are picked up, immediately after that, 3 or 4 people do all the shopping for the list of about 100 needy kids that asked for Christmas presents.

The people who volunteer to make these activities happen, do it because they want to contribute to their community. They certainly do not do it for the recognition or pat on the back, because that rarely happens. In fact many times all the people who do the hard work only hear the complaints, not the Thank You’s that mean so much more to them, for doing what they do.

So if Raymond residents hope to have the wonderful community events continue, there needs to be lots of new volunteers to step up, because so many need a break now and many others are aged out and have moved out of Raymond to their warmer weather retirement homes.

What can you do?  You can reach out for more information to NLC, the parade committee, the fair committee and the festival of trees committee.  All of the committees have facebook pages with contact information on them, or you can ask the town recreation department how to reach some of the committee people.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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