Community and disabilities blend in Fall Fest

8:24 am October 3rd, 2013

“To enhance ability awareness to focus on what people can do, rather than on what they can’t do.”
That’s the mission statement that Fall Fest will carry out this Saturday for the sixth year of what has become an Eatonville tradition.
From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Eatonville High School, organizers and participants in the event will offer opportunities for the public to embrace disability awareness, learn about community resources and connect with other community members, said Tina Schmidt, chairwoman of the festival’s planning committee.
Fall Fest is a local salute to Washington State Disability History Awareness Month in October, which recognizes the contributions that people with disabilities have made to society. With that comes some fun and information this Saturday, including:
• Resource booths to educate individuals with disabilities and their families about services and programs.
• Eatin’ in Eatonville, offering a sampling of food from area restaurants.
• Hand-crafted items for sale.
• Musical entertainment starting at 1 p.m.
• A coloring contest for children in grades kindergarten through fifth, kids’ games and a photo booth, a petting zoo and Sassy the clown.
• A harvest sharing in which Mountain Community Co-op invites home gardeners to bring two bags of their harvest crop, take one bag home and leave one for the Eatonville food bank.
The public can also make donations of non-perishable food donations for the food bank, eye glasses for the Lions Club, used medical equipment and wheelchairs for Benita International Children’s Organization and Eatonville Family Agency, and clean, unused medical supplies for Benita.
The organizing force behind Fall Fest is the committee headed by Schmidt. The group originally consisted of five mothers of children with disabilities, and has grown to seven who “donate our time and energy to this event,” she said. They include Gretchen Sharpe, Michelle Frink, Kerri Murphy, Shannon Powell, Shanna Littrell and Linda Schier.
“If anyone is interested in getting involved, we welcome the help,” said Schmidt, who can be reached at 360-832-4400.

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