The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Community Spotlight: Hancock County Family Fair

By: Diane Spilker, The Quill Staff

Saturday, February 2nd was the 15th annual Hancock County Family Fair in Carthage, at the University of Illinois Extension Building from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Piled into one building was 100s of kids and their families for a full 4 hours of nothing but fun and food. For the cost of one or more non-perishable food item(s), which aided the Shepherd's Food Pantry serving all of Hancock County, families got to enjoy a free lunch and lots of games, activities, entertainment and prizes. This year's theme was 'Families on Safari'.

Lunch was served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. consisting of barbeque sandwiches, carrots, bananas, animal crackers, milk (chocolate or regular) and water. Serving over a 100 families, the meal was served by volunteer members that represented over 25 businesses in the local community.

Other events included: hands-on activities and materials for families, new and updated child ID kits (sponsored by the CHIP program), coloring contest and door prizes.

The entertainment consisted of storytelling and music sponsored by Carl Sandburg College English as a Second Language Students, 'The Jungle Book', 'Tarzan and Jane', Mountain Jack and His Lion Hunt and Center Stage Entertainment playing special music.

Vendors included: Carl Sandburg College, Memorial Hospital, Mental Health of Western Illinois, University of Illinois Extension/4-H, Hancock County Health Department, West Central Child Care Connection, Learning Tree Preschool, Carthage Public Library, Hancock County HCE, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of Illinois and the CHIP Program, Pied Piper Preschool, MOPS, PACT Head Start, Golden's Point Christian Church, Youth Working Group, Early Beginnings, WIRC Victim Services, Elvaston Presbyterian Church, My Matthew's House and Juvenile Court Advocates.

Each booth featured an activity for the children while the parents visited with representatives and received valuable information on child safety, parenting skills, religious information, health information and nutrition information.

Everyone present received a passport book, which was signed by all vendors at the fair. Once signed by all, each person received a 'goodie bag' consisting of animal print sunglasses, candy and other little items.