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Family Day 2013 frenzy

Two-hundred-and-fifty kicked off Family Day 2013 with a tasty pancake breakfast inside the Lion’s Auditorium.

Two-hundred-and-twenty-four scoured the community in the Sixth Annual Annandale National Historic Site Scavenger Hunt.

Five-hundred-and-fifty-nine skaters took to the Kinsmen/Memorial Arena in two waves.

And a massive flood of 417 swimmers kept the Kinsmen Pool at its 256-bather capacity through an extremely popular afternoon swim.

“It was a really crazy day here, but a great day, it really was,” said Tillsonburg Complex Recreation Program Director Julie Dawley.

“It was very cool, busy, but cool.”

The free events were coordinated through the complex, but sponsored by community partners including the Bethel Temple (breakfast and the morning free skate), Jeff VanRybroeck of ReMax, Andrea Vandevyvere of RBC and Carrie Smith of The Cooperators (afternoon free skate and free swim); and Sobeys, the Station Arts Centre, Kwik Kopy, Tim Hortons, Metro, Coyle’s, Chrissy’s Corner Store, The Pita Pit, Broadway Cinemas and Annandale NHS (breakfast). Families were charged a nominal $5 fee per for breakfast, with proceeds donated to Tillsonburg’s Helping Hand Food Bank.

The pool essentially ran at its 256-bather capacity for the duration, said Dawley, with swimmers entering as others left. Ultimately and unfortunately, some were turned away due to the event’s popularity.

“It was crazy,” she said.

This is the first Family Day event of this magnitude said Dawley, who hopes to see it expand for 2014.

“It’s going to be bigger and better every year.”

Last year’s scavenger hunt attracted around 200 participants, said Annandale National Historic Site Curator Patricia Phelps, pleased to see an increase for 2013.

“That’s very good, I thought,” she said. “This year, our numbers equate to over 50 families.”

Participants had to answer 25 unique questions and bring back 10 items off a list of 15, including such treasures as a 2003 penny, frying pan or copy of The Tillsonburg News. Most popular on the list, laughed Phelps, was a Tim Horton’s coffee cup, with each family involved bringing in either a disposable or reusable version.

“Everybody had one of those.”

Families also responded to a request for a canned food item and a hamper full has been collected for Tillsonburg’s Helping Hand Food Bank.

Four families received a perfect score, said Phelps, and the three grand prizes were awarded following a draw. On this basis, the Leaning family finished first, the Dely clan was second, the Helsdon crew third and the Rankin family earned honourable mention.

“We had a great day,” Phelps summed up. “We had fun and we hope everyone who participated had equally as much fun.”



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