wp_parksigndropWe had a beautiful day for the 10th annual Darbo Family Picnic, and placing the food and activities under the large tree canopy was the right thing to do. (The natural cover is now the first choice for future events!)

dwp2013_food_smLocal restaurants Lazy Jane’s, 4&20 and Madison Sourdough donated some food to the spread for the day, and members of the new Women of Worthington group made sides and helped dish out lunch. Residents John and Jen supplied and operated the grill for the hot dogs and brats, and folks from Meridian (EastPointe) once again worked the ice cream table. Of course, all the food was wiped out, and that included killing 12 GALLONS of Madison’s Chocolate Shoppe ice cream and a half barrel of Blumer’s Root Beer from Minhas Brewery, Monroe, Wisconsin. Do you know how much is in a half barrel? About 15 gallons. That’s about 160 cans!

dwp2013_magic_smTate & 008 Band played some smooth tunes for a while then gave the stage to local entertainer James the Magician, who closed his show with a straight jacket escape! Volunteers from DOC DJC hosted a raffle for prizes and had stuffed toys to give away, plus cookies!  Mentoring Positives ran basketball games, and they featured crafts from their new ReJeweled program. Madison College’s Advanced Mobile Training Unit demonstrated manufacturing robotics.  Friends of Starkweather Creek board member John Steines had a display that showed what happens with water runoff, and face painting, coloring and sidewalk art was brought by Madison Public Library, Play & Learn and Joining Forces for Families. Salvation Army had a bounce house, and the Marines dared youth to test their strength on a chin up bar. (Something yours truly wasn’t going to do!)dwp2013_ladder8_sm Also, offering valuable information were folks from Tenant Resource Center and East Madison Community Center. Of course, always a crowd pleaser, Madison Fire Department’s Ladder 8 drove up, extended its ladder and gave cabin tours to kids.

It was cool that Mayor Soglin, Alder Marsha Rummel and Tariq Saqqaf visited and chatted with residents and volunteers, and we even made the news! WKOW stopped by towards the end, and Jon Gramling from Capital City Hues photographed and interviewed for an upcoming issue. It’s nice to know the whole town is taking note of the positive strides of our community.


Residents Samuka, Boss and Omar hitchin’ a ride from Tammy.

Appreciation extends to all volunteers and groups attending because they make events like this possible, but I want to single out the incredible support of Deenah Givens and Goodman Community Center. On a personal note, I had a very busy and odd schedule this year, and the Darbo Family Picnic would have come up short without her efforts and help with coordination. Deenah, thank you.

So, more residents are coming forward with ideas and willingness to volunteer. That’s an amazing thing to see happening here. I believe next year’s picnic is gonna be crazy good!