The Power of Partnerships 2015

This year the Holland Parks and Recreation Committee was fortunate to partner with the Holland Girl Scouts, the Holland Parent Teachers Organization, and the Holland Free Library Foundation. Rather than run competing events, we proved that the spirit of community and cooperation can really make a difference.

Our Easter Egg Hunt was the largest and most successful to date. We had great weather, a beautiful location (The Ridge) and the partnership of the Girl Scouts. Laura and her “girls” stuffed thousands of eggs...and our P&R crew ran three egg hunts, cupcake decorating, and crafts... Shoprite came through again with candy and cupcakes! And this FREE event brought out hundreds of families who “paid it forward” by donating non-perishables. The local Food Pantry was delighted, and we have already started to plan for next year.

In the spring, we asked Holland students to draw a picture about the agriculture in Holland. The P&R Committee was overwhelmed with all the wonderful art. We chose several winners who enjoyed ice cream and golf courtesy of Jimmie’s, and the 1st Prize picture was put on a canvas bag. The farmers’ market vendors sold bags, Dutch Mill sold bags, the P&R sold bags, and before we knew it...we had to REORDER! Now an adorable farm scene and the Holland Wind Mill can be seen all over town!

In the summer, we tried to organize a Yankees Baseball Trip...but time was against next Year check back for a Big League Bus Trip!

Community Day was wonderful! And our hats off to Jess and her team. They graciously gave us space to do our Annual Pie Eating and Bike Decorating Contest....Dutch Mill donated Cherry Pies, Apple Pies, Berry Pies...oh so many pies were eaten or “worn”...Bikes were decorated in Red, White and Blue...and all had a good time...and our winners received Jimmies Ice Cream and Golf Games certificates.

Although our efforts were great, time and a storm blew our Oktoberfest off course. Our partnership with the Library, however, was wonderful and we know that together we will regroup, reshape, and return next year with another great event for our Residents.

After months (years) of trying to bring back the Holland Haunted Hay Ride, we were able to succeed with our new partners the Holland PTO and the Girl Scouts. Adding to the Girl Scouts already successful Trunk or Treat, we kept the fun going with a bonfire, pizza, snacks, and YES...The Haunted Hay Ride... Our local farmers brought the wagons, tractors and hay...but the Night could not have happened without the work of all our P&R crew and partners. Next year will be even bigger and better!

We are ending our year by helping Santa with phone calls. Again our PTO partners have ensured that all Holland student parents received a flyer so that Santa can call.

Of course, we could not have done many of these fun events without the help from our SPONSORS...Yes, the Township Committee who provides us with a small budget...that we have stretched around the county and back again. Our Donors...Shoprite of Greenwich, Jimmie’s, and the Dutch Mill. Jess and her team at the Ridge and our trusty fire department to put out the Bonfire. And of course, our Partners in Planning.

To all, thank you for all of your hard work and commitment. I know that as volunteers, we “give” our time and energy for the greater good, as we miss time with family, juggle competing obligations, and worry that our efforts will not be enough. The reward and what keeps us going is all of those smiles and laughs we heard this year, and TOGETHER we have shown what partnering and cooperation can do.

We look forward to next year, and encourage any resident of Holland who would like to join us...we really do have join us. The more hands we have, the more we can do.




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