The third Saturday in October proved to be a perfect day to invite visitors to the farm! The first Fall Farm Festival at the Freedom Farm was a success with visitors from local areas and as far away as Kenosha, WI. The ages ranged from 18 months to ? Veterans present were reserve duty officers and veterans of WWII, with their families.
Activities kept the children busy and let parents join in the fun together. Pumpkins from the farm garden were lined up and painted by the children and visitors to be delivered to the VA patients the next Wednesday. The pumpkins were traditional and colorful…in the best way that a 2 yr old could manage….and all were loved and a wonderful surprise for the patients and residents at the VA. The children also got to go into the garden and choose their own pumpkin to take home for Trick-or-Treat.
More fun included face painting, assisted by volunteer Dianna Dick, a neighbor of the Ress’ who asked to participate in the event. Spiders and butterflies highlighted the designs. Kids also got to feed the chickens and ducks apples from the trees on the property and corn from the corn stalks. They enjoyed being able to be right at the fence with the chickens and not having to wait in any lines for the fun. They also worked on drawings for the logo for 2012. The design will earn the winner a free t-shirt painted for the festival for 2012, containing the essence of their design for items for sale.
The raffles held at the festival were a quilt raffle and a red, white, and blue decorated Christmas tree, donated to the festival by Leslie Price-Robison. Tickets were sold at $1 each or 6 for $5. The winners of the prizes were: Tree: Rosemary Ress, sister of the four brothers that the stars in the Freedom Farm emblem represent and the wife of Frank Ress, the father of Director John Ress. The quilt winner was Mary Thedford of North Chicago, IL (pictured). Mrs Thedford is a regular participant at the Waukegan VFW and purchased her ticket there. Her husband is a Vietnam veteran that returned to the theater 4 times before the end of his time in the service. We thank both of these ladies, and all participants in the raffles for their donations.
The bake sale that was held for the day was also a great success. Donations were taken for the food and baked goods were donated by Leslie Price-Robison, Marty Cornett, Rosemary Ress, and Mr. and Mrs. Depke of Wadsworth, who donated 75 taffy apples. After the day concluded, extra baked goods were distributed to veterans and taken to the VA for the volunteers that assist veterans there.
We considered the beautiful day a great success. Adults and children enjoyed the farm, horses, feeding the ducks and chickens, and the other activities. We hope everyone will join us again next year and bring friends and family.