As with many event causalities that occurred due to the COVID-19, the annual Walk in Waynedale was no exception and has been postponed until 2021.
But the group of volunteers who typically plan that event brainstormed and quickly created a pandemic safe “Plan B” to support our community businesses who were feeling the pinch of the pandemic. Hence SHOP Waynedale was born. And we hope you enjoy it as much as we have had fun inventing it.
Events don’t just happen by themselves. You know the saying, “It takes a village to raise a child.” Well the same holds true with local events. It takes a group of dedicated people willing to donate their time and talents to creating successful experiences for all to enjoy. We’ve all appreciated Waynedale past favorites such as the Taste of Waynedale, Fall Festival, Trunk or Treat, Christmas in Waynedale, EMBARK, and the Waynedale Picnic. Not to mention our current events which include the Walk in Waynedale and the Christmas Wreath sale.
You might notice that there are more “past” events than “current” happenings. That boils down to support. Without organizers and volunteers who readily step up to host events, life would be pretty darn dull. So, we wanted to take this opportunity to introduce to you the committee members who enthusiastically played a part in bringing you the first ever SHOP Waynedale event and Scavenger Hunt and thank them for stepping up.
Grant Acker has lived most his life in Waynedale. He and his wife Lora have been married for 21 years. They boast four children, seven grandchildren and two dogs round out their family. Grant enjoys spending time with family and friends, going to Barbee Lake in the summer, and traveling to Siesta Key, Florida whenever possible. Grant also helps support the Adopt A Trail by attending regular clean ups.
Alex Cornwell works continuously to create a better quality of life for all residents in the area and is the Owner & Publisher of The Waynedale News. He has been an organizer, creator, and volunteer for various and many large-scale community events, initiatives, and projects in the area. Alex is also a founding member and creator of The Waynedale Business Chamber and The Waynedale Community Improvement Team and has been a member of a multitude of various service-based organizations in the area. For the Shop Waynedale Project, Alex has offered his skills and resources, including the newspaper, project management, design, marketing and public relations to help launch this as a successful event.
Erin Floyd is a lifelong Waynedale resident. Married to husband Bob with two adult children, she spent 32 years as the administrator at two local health care facilities and retired in 2018. She is the past president of Lakewood Park. Erin currently spends her time rescuing and fostering greyhounds and Galgos – dogs from Spain. She is also a volunteer with Honor Flight Northeast Indiana and helps support area trail clean ups.
Jeremy Gerardot has worked for Walgreens for 18 years. He has managed the Waynedale location since 2015. Through Walgreens, he has been involved in several community events over the years, such as the Waynedale Picnic, EMBARK, Walk in Waynedale and supporting Honor Flight Northeast Indiana. He is married to wife Alison and they have two young children. Jeremy enjoys coaching little league baseball and walking with his taco terrier puppy, Theo.
Carissa Mitchell is an Air Force veteran who continues to serve her community and embodies the core values of integrity first, service before self and excellence in all we do. Her goal is to create and maintain a happy and healthy community for everyone to enjoy. She has volunteered for the Walk In Waynedale (formerly EMBARK) committee for the last three years. She also serves as Treasurer of the Parent Association for Canterbury School. Carissa has worked as an accountant for 10 years at Silvan L. Krel CPA LLC. She also is a cosmetologist celebrating 15 years working at Hair Affair Salon in Waynedale. Carissa, her husband Casey and their son Riley, have been Waynedale residents for 15 years. They enjoy audio books, music, baking, outdoor activities such as biking, walking their dogs, gardening, traveling & planning for the next adventure!
Mariah Tucker declares herself as a “native Waynedalian.” She graduated from Wayne High School and now works at Midwest America on Bluffton Road in Waynedale. Like many of us in the area, she has a passion for the outdoors and Mexican food. She says she is fortunate enough to enjoy both of those things right here in our Waynedale community, riding her bike on our nearby trails and eating at Taco Zone. Mariah is filled with gratitude to be a part of this wonderful neighborhood.
Amanda Vance is the manager of the Waynedale Branch of the Allen County Public Library. She has been with the ACPL since 2005, working as a children’s librarian before becoming the manager at Waynedale in 2017. Amanda’s favorite things about working at the Waynedale Branch are getting to know the community, helping everyone get access to the information they need, moderating Unbound Book Club, and getting to fill in at story time to dance and sing with the kids! When she’s not at work, she likes to do the stereotypical librarian thing of reading, drinking coffee, and cuddling with her pup. She has a reading list she will never finish and continues to buy far too many books.
Nathan Whittaker is the pastor at Mount Calvary Lutheran Church. He has been their pastor for three years and is enjoying every moment of it. He states “We are seeking to authentically connect people to one another through the love of Jesus Christ. Mount Calvary is partnering with the churches of Waynedale to help serve our community, especially through mental, emotional, and social health. We are happy to be part of this beautiful town and look forward to living life with you!”
As for me? Many of you know me through my past job as a local marketing director. I’ve knocked on a lot of doors drumming up support for most of the events held in Waynedale. I currently work as Program Outreach Coordinator at the Volunteer Center. I am proud to serve on this committee alongside these dedicated people who make time in their busy lives to give back to others. I am passionate about Waynedale and want to see us prosper. Our committee welcomes anyone who wants to make a difference. Join us as we endeavor to brighten the lives of our friends and neighbors who live here.