Decker: Summer Fundraisers Help to Make ValPLAYso a Reality

moinca-deckerThe ValPlayso-The Next Generation Children's Committee has been very busy this year. More than 70 children from each grade in the schools were chosen to be a part of this committee. The committee was created to help design, raise community awareness, and fundraise for ValPLAYso - The Next Generation.

As co-chairs, Kevin Kosek and I have been meeting regularly with these amazing children. At one meeting, the kids brought in items for a time capsule. It was really great to see the creativity and variety of items the children came up with for the capsule.

Another activity the committee has been able to participate in is saying "Thank You" to local businesses that have made generous donations to the campaign. The committee has visited donors such as Family Express, Bison Financial, Task Force Tips and CSI Net to gather, take a group photo and say "thank you."

Our summer fundraisers have been a blast for the kids. They work hard! Our first fundraiser was Lemonade for ValPlayso-The Next Generation. Held at ValPlayso Park, the kids made signs, sang songs, hula hooped and, of course, sold lemonade. A little girl even handmade bracelets to sell at the event. The day ended with a total of more than $600 towards the project. Committee member Izzy was so inspired that she held her own lemonade stand in her neighborhood; this lead to a family matching her earnings up to $1,000.
Next was the car wash held at the Valparaiso Boys & Girls Club. In just two short hours of scrubbing, hosing, and drying the cars, the kids were able to raise over $400. Local company, Grounds Specialists, was so impressed with the children's hard work they agreed to match the children's earnings.

To end the summer, the children hosted a ValPlayso Family Fun Night at Central Park Plaza. Kids and adults enjoyed a night of Zumba, jumping in a bounce house and face painting with all proceeds going to ValPlayso-The Next Generation.

Even though our summer fundraising events are coming to an end, we will have events planned for the school year. The kids on the committee realize funds will still be needed even after we begin building the park and they want to do all they can to help.

It has been a pleasure for us to get to know these future leaders of our community. They are a perfect representation of the next generation of Valparaiso. To learn more or to volunteer your time, talent, or treasures, go to Children can still join, too. To learn more or to volunteer visit