Autumn Fest harvests $1,600 for Merlin Foundation, Grandma’s House

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Despite foggy weather, Autumn Fest was full of

bright smiles on Saturday, Nov. 4, at the Berryville

Community Center.

Kaleigh Evans, public relations coordinator for

Grandma’s House Children’s Advocacy Center, said

Grandma’s House and the Merlin Foundation hosted

the event, bringing in about $1,600 for Carroll County.

“The money raised in Carroll County stays in Carroll

County,” she said, “so these funds will be used for

local programs and residents.”

The event featured a 5K, booths, bouncy houses, an

obstacle course, scarecrow races, face-painting, hay

rides, tamales and chocolate-covered apple pops, Evans


“This was kind of our seed event. We had about 27

runners who came out and did the 5K for us,” she said.

“We had a bit of a delay at the beginning because we

had all that fog that morning. We couldn’t see, so we

had to delay the race about 30 minutes.”

Fortunately, Evans, said participants were willing to

wait for the weather to improve.

“All of our runners stuck around for us and ran the

race,” she said. “Afterward, everybody migrated to the

soccer fields at the community center, where we had

our festival going on. Jim Ross drove the truck and

trailer for the hayride. Powell Feed and Milling of Harrison

donated the truck and trailer, and Kevin Hostetler

donated the hay.”

She said Grandma’s House and the Merlin Foundation

were thankful for the volunteers who helped make

the Autumn Fest a fun event for everyone.

“It was a really great fun day,” Evans said. “We had

a lot of kids getting their faces painted and enjoying

themselves. All of the adults got really into everything

and were competing against each other for the obstacle

courses. It was a great day.”

While fundraising was one of the main goals of the

event, she said another was introducing the organizations

to the Berryville community.

“We moved our center from Green Forest to Berryville,

so this was a way for people to get to know

more about us,” Evans said, “and know we are more

centralized for the people who live in Carroll County.

We’re even closer for the people who live in Madison

County now.”

She continued, “There were tons of people there

who are already affiliated with the organizations, but

we saw a lot of new faces, too.”

Evans said the sponsorships for the Autumn Fest

were phenomenal, thanking local businesses for investing

in a new event.

“It was a bunch of businesses we’ve never reached

out to before,” she said. “The fact they were so kind

and so willing to jump with us into this to start something

new and get our name out there to all these people

in our community was just phenomenal.”

Evans said Grandma’s House and the Merlin Foundation

appreciate the community’s support and will

continue to plan community events.

“Like every event we do, it’s never going to be as

successful if we don’t have the support of our community

backing us,” she said. “We’re so thankful for

their support.”

The new Grandma’s House center is located at 206

S. Main St. in Berryville. For more information, visit

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