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Block party organizers seek additional support

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Organizers of the Happy Days on Henderson festival say interest in the annual event continues to grow and they’re hoping to attract additional sponsors and volunteers to help keep pace with its increasing popularity.

As a result, they have already begun recruiting new volunteers and corporate supporters for next year’s community festival, which will once again be held at 81 Henderson Hwy.

"We’ve now grown to the point that we need more volunteers," said Happy Days founder Jan Stuyck.

"We’d love to get more people from the community to step forward and volunteer for the different committees."

The festival features a variety of local entertainers and a free barbecue and offers a number of activities for kids including games, puppet shows, pony rides and a petting farm.

It was started in 2001 as a way to bring area residents and neighbourhood businesses together, according to Stuyck.

"When I came to Henderson Highway I had a flower shop and there wasn’t a whole lot that was going on here. People would get in their cars and drive out of the community to shop elsewhere."

Deborah Wazny, owner of Savoir Faire located at 241 Henderson, agreed that it’s important to build connections between residents and businesses in the community.

"Happy Days fits into that model of being a good community citizen and giving back to the community," she said.

Stuyck said relations in the neighbourhood have improved noticeably as a result of the festival.

"It’s brought a lot of organizations [and people] together that have been in the neighbourhood for a long time but who didn’t really get together," Stuyck said. "I think that’s why it’s been so successful.

"There have also been a few new businesses in the area that were quite generous in their participation and donations last year. Which I thought was wonderful," Wazny added.

Although interest in the festival has steadily grown over the years, Stuyck and Wazny agree there are still many people in the community who are unaware of its existence.

"I’m a resident of the neighbourhood and I wasn’t aware of Happy Days until I had a storefront," Wazny said. "I think it’s that little knocking on doors and asking people for help that creates that interest in the community."

"The festival is a great way to make it feel like more of a community. We’re reaffirming what Henderson Highway is and all the things that surround it," Stuyck added.

For more info on Happy Days on Henderson visit happydaysonhenderson.org

Anyone interested in volunteering can contact Stuyck at 204-669-3116.

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