WMFC Highlights

West Midland Family Center Attends Parkapalooza 2012

In early September D Street Entertainment and the Midland County Parks and Recreation Commission hosted the 8th annual Parkapalooza music festival on the shores of beautiful Sanford Lake Park in Midland County. Several organizations, including WMFC, take part in the event providing fun filled activities for families who attend the day's festivities. Some of the sponsored activities include a sand sculpting contest, a spray park and a rock climbing wall. This year, West Midland Family Center sponsored three activities including a treasure hunt, a Facebook contest and a "Where's Lulu?" drawing and raffle. All entertainment and activities at Parkapalooza were free to the public.

Ed Kerns, Vice President of the DStreet board, and Park Ranger for Sanford Lake Park had the idea of live music on the beach which he and others turned into a reality in 2005. Parkapalooza is now an anticipated annual event by many in the community and the festival continues to grow year after year from nearly 2,000 attendees in 2005 - its inaugural year to the over 6,000 people that attended in 2012. (At press time "It is always a lot of fun for our staff to attend Parkapalooza and bring family friendly activities to those who are spending the day at the park with their families," explained WMFC Parkapalooza organizer Renee Allen. "D Street Entertainment and the Midland County Parks personnel are so easy to work with and so well organized." Or maybe it's because they know what D-Street does with the money raised through sponsorships, merchandise sales, the silent auction and a 50/50 drawing. The foundation, like Parkapalooza, tends to fly under the radar, with few aware of its many programs. "They love what we're doing," said DeMott, who will perform with his band, The Juice Roosters. "I was the only active musician on the D-Street board for a long time, before Tim Boychuck came on, and it's the same with the others they love what we're doing and they want to help." In addition to choosing a charity each year to receive a portion of the proceeds, D-Street funds a scholarship for people pursuing music-oriented study and a program called BandWagon that takes donated musical instruments, refurbishes them and give them to children who can't afford one of their own for school music classes. "There are so many talented kids out there who don't have the funds to get an instrument or can only afford a poorly made one that would frustrate an accomplished musician," DeMott said. "We don't try to undermine the music companies, but if there are children who love music and can't do it any other way, let us know what you need and we'll work it out." This year brought a cutback in financial support as businesses trimmed their budgets, DeMott said, but that won't Midland Daily News Article on Parkapalooza #8