A last summer hurrah

It may be fall by the calendar, and the kids might be back in school, but we live in Florida and it’s still hot!  That’s reason enough for a last summer hurrah!  And that’s exactly what happened here at Coalition for the Homeless last weekend.

Water day in July was such a success that our wonderful, individual volunteers who were involved that day decided another one was in order and approached us with the idea.  The second water day took place on Saturday, September 24th and was almost as wet as the first.

In preparation for the day, volunteer Mark Cavalleri passed the hat around to his fellow employees at Starwood.   He collected enough in donations from his generous co-workers to fund a giant water slide and pizza for all.  Tremayne Sirmons was in charge of filling water balloons, a task at which we already knew he was superb.  He enlisted help from other volunteers and together they filled over 400.  Needless to say, this led to one heck of a water fight!

Ellen Prenell donated a gift certificate for the face painting, delighting kids and adults alike; and super volunteer Ralph Addington once again donated the popcorn, popped in his very own carnival-style machine. 

In addition to water and the trimmings, the weekend included a bit of culture for some of kids who call the Coalition home.  Eight of our 8-13 year-old youngsters spent Sunday afternoon at the Orlando Repertory Theatre.  Treated by the REP, they attended a production of Sideways Stories from Wayside School, based on a popular series of three books by Louis Sachar.

Five of our steadfast volunteers chaperoned the group, which also enjoyed a post-show theater workshop conducted by two UCF graduate students who work for the REP. The workshop consisted of theater games and trust exercises to emphasize the lesson learned from the production – that of teamwork.

Their day was summed up by a favorite quote from the show.  When one of the characters, Damien, was asked why he smiles all the time, he answered, “You don’t have to have a reason to smile, but you need a reason to frown.”

Thank you to our marvelous volunteers who gave our homeless clients so many smiles this weekend.