The Waynedale Community Picnic found its humble beginnings 15 years ago as a small little-known get-together for families in the community to enjoy in true small-town fashion. Then, looking forward, it would have been hard to imagine that the event would morph into a large-scale event, such as we saw last Saturday (August 26).
Last weekend, over 2,000 guests were treated to over 1,200 hot dogs and 1,000+ pieces of pizza, chips and salsa, water and cookies. There were over 35 vendor booths from local organizations & businesses, face painting, games for kids, 2 bands, BINGO with over 50 prizes, 20 door prizes (valued at $20+), a science exploration tent and a huge inflatable obstacle course. This of course was managed through the assistance from over 70 volunteers. And the huge price tag of such an event was funded through the donations and sponsorships from 100+ businesses and organizations from the community.
One of the many highlights from the event was The Waynedale News’ Community Star Award, which is given each year to honor a community member who is recognized for their works in the Waynedale area. This year, the award was presented to Beulah Matczak who was a founder of the Picnic. Alex Cornwell, Publisher of The Waynedale News commented, “Beulah has been a Waynedale advocate for longer than most people can remember. She has been a part of every major development in Waynedale, from encouraging the first Splash Pad in Fort Wayne located in Waynedale Park, to various free community events, to assisting with recent initiatives such as the Waynedale Sidewalks & Trails and Waynedale Corridor. She is sometimes referred to as “the mayor of Waynedale” and has definitely earned the honor of the Community Star Award many times over.”
On the sunny 78 degree day, The Waynedale Community Picnic was a huge success in Megan Ryan’s eyes. The event organizer Ryan, commented, “Although it was a lot of work, we do it to make it a great day for the Waynedale community to come together as neighbors and celebrate! I would like to personally thank all of our volunteers; as well as the 100+ local businesses and organizations who gave donations to make this event possible. I’m not sure that any other community can say they are able to fund and run such a large event as this, entirely free for people from the community to come and enjoy, but I’m glad Waynedale can.”