A little rain didn’t stop us from the celebration and while the outdoor sports games had to be canceled the rest of the events went forward this past weekend. For this is the day the Lord has made, we shall rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24. Atlantic Stewardship Bank sponsored Homecoming 2016 and we could not be more grateful for their on going support to our school and mission. The EC5K brought in more registered runners and volunteers than last year and were treated to all the trimmings one can expect from a USATF certified course, largely because of you, Regency Wealth Management and Nicholas Markets, our race sponsors.Thanks to Cheryl Moses, Race Coordinator and the town of North Haledon for preparing and executing a safe day for all.
Runners had an awesome race with a grand finale, in which our very own Alum Jon Veenstra, took first place in an all out sprint to the finish against veteran runner Andrew Nashed of North Haledon. Our volunteers, including Joel Apol’s Track Team and many new EC families manned the course, water stations and cheered on our varied aged racers! Runner Sponsors; Abbey Floors & Carpeting, Borduin Paving, ditto Upscale Resale Store, Kuiken Brothers, Martin Orthodontics, Reiner Company, Jeff Vander Molen of Terrie O’Conner Realty, Visbeen Construction and Wayne Tile provided tremendous support in lifting this event to the next level as well. We also would like to thank Jeff Merlino Esq of Sciarrillo Cornell, Sietsma Landscaping and JP Morgan.
The rain cleared, but for a moment, blessing volunteers and vendors time to unload and fill the EC Middle School in preparation for the Family Fun Fair and BBQ. Children through 8th grade joined in the fun and with free admittance for Adults including those in High School and 3 years and under, the building was filled with a joyful noise. Parents were able to sample eight different Pies and Chilis in the first Apple Pie Contest and Chili Cook Off. Kids played Laser Tag Hero Blast, Carnival Games handcrafted by our very own Facilities Team, Jim Stegink and Michael Auteri.including a Derby Race track, Frogger, Balloon Pop and Mini Golf Hole in One. The Family Fun Fair Committee made all the difference in this year’s success. Catherine Belanus and Tara Cook, headed the Pie & Chili Contests and coordinated Abma’s Cider Donuts. Kim Meserole and Kelley Roesch added to the Carnival games making the Nerf Target and Pool Noodle toss and Michelle Lazor and Beth Hopeck brought our first ever Cake Walk to life, complete with a cake giveaway every round. The Elvgren family helped support the Laser Tag game and Whitney Wilkinson and Dawn Heerema manned the well attended Face Painting tables. With a petting zoo, Lickerish The Clown and Kiva Club stations also setup throughout the building, attendees were in constant entertainment.
The wind whipped up and so did our volunteers, including many who jumped in unexpectedly to lend a helping hand, allowing us to relocate the BBQ from Select Catering to the gym following the Fair, providing much desired warmth while dining. Hot Dogs, Corn Dogs, Burgers, Mac n’ Cheese, Potato Salad, Garden Salad and giant cookies greeted hungry Fair goers and guests alike. With leftover Pie’s from the Judge’s contest served on the dessert line, everyone left sated. This year’s Apple Pie Contest Judged winner went to Andrea Rooney for her Southern Delight and the People’s Choice certificate was given to the Kiva Club. Chili Contest winner Marcella Vander Eems with her Chili Con Carne took home First Place and like Andrea Rooney, won a $50 Gift Certificate to Trovato’s Restaurant. People’s Choice for the chili winner was Leslie De Jong for Pop’s Chili.
Sunday’s events were blessed with sunshine and clear skies allowing our Heritage Alumni Dinner to go forth unencumbered. Tom Dykhouse, opened in prayer welcoming everyone. With attendance on the rise our guests enjoyed a Roast Beef dinner from Nicholas Markets reminiscing with friends and being honored by Foundation Director, David Visbeen who reminded them it is because of you, that our school continues to be a vessel for God’s kingdom. Their long time support has funded tremendous growth for not only the school but the spirit in the hearts of those within it. We thank the Christian Health Care Center for their sponsorship of this important and honorable event! We also thank Mrs. Suzanne Kraai for directing the Alumni Choir who performed immediately following the Sunday Dinner in conjunction with the Honors Choir. Hearts were raised and voices sang praise.
Homecoming weekend is geared to building relationships with those who have walked the grounds as a student, teacher, parent or staff, at some point in their lives. We look forward to deeper partnerships with new families and celebrate those who have been well invested in the fabric of this school. As we move forward into the Fundraising Season in support of the school, we hope you will be reminded that this weekend celebrates where you’ve been and those events yet to come in the school year, will encourage us to support where we are going. It is because of you that we remain available to be used in delivering His grace.