By Sterling McGinn
Newberry native Elizabeth (Schummer) Magnuson wanted to bring back some youth events she remembered while growing up in Newberry.
That’s why she formed a new non-profit organization called Yooper Youth, and they are gearing up for their first ever event, a spring fling family dance, to be held on Saturday, May 6. “Our purpose is to provide all sorts of different activities and events for all kids,” Magnuson said.
The dance, open to all families in the area, will take place from 4 to 6 p.m. in the Tahquamenon Area Schools cafeteria. The event is semi-formal and will feature dancing, games, crafts, and family fun.
“It is kind of our play on a father/daughter dance, but we are making it for kids and all family members,” Magnuson said.
She said the music and crafts will be geared towards elementary-aged kids, but the event is open to the whole family. There will also be a concession with snacks, drinks and desserts.
There is no charge to attend the event, though the group welcomes donations to help fund future programs.
“Hopefully we can keep everything at a donation or free for entrance so that all kids can come. It doesn’t matter if you can’t afford it, we will let you in the door, but if you can give a donation, that is great.”
Magnuson said there’s plenty of room for more volunteers.
“We need volunteers for everything, and we will also be looking locally for businesses to donate gifts or money.”
Group member Jessica Rahilly is also hoping to bring back events she remembers from her childhood.
“We are trying to find things for kids to do,” Rahilly said. “A group of us moms and even some grandparents in the community are trying to bring back some previous activities and add some new ones. Elizabeth Magnuson did a lot of the leg work to get it going.”
Coming up next is a safety fair for elementary kids.
“We will work with the EMS, fire department and local law enforcement and try to get these entities to come in and give a presentation and show their cars and ambulances,” Rahilly said.
Yooper Youth intends to bring back the field day competition formerly held in the playground and football field. Activities will include running at the track, a three-legged race, 100-meter dash, and a wheelbarrow race. Magnuson hopes to work with track coaches and ask students to volunteer at the event.
The biggest event Yooper Youth wants to return to Newberry is the Halloween Carnival, which took place at the barn ice rink. Attendees dress in their costumes and play games and win prizes. The Halloween Carnival is also the most expensive activity to pull off.
Though most activities will be geared toward kids and their families, there are plans for adults, too. Those will double as fundraisers for the youth programs.
“It is also a way to have things for adults, because we are lacking that as well,” Magnuson said.
Plans for adults include a Kentucky Derby Night at the Races party, a Family Feud themed night, and trivia nights.
Yooper Youth is also proposing is a regular bi-weekly play date at the playground. For older kids, the organization would like to eventually hold open gym events. “We are always open to suggestions for activities or events,” said Magnuson.
Those interested in volunteering or joining the organization can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meeting dates and other information can be found on the group’s two Facebook pages-Yooper Youth and the Yooper Youth Volunteer Committee.