Free Family Fun in February!

Thursday, January 29, 2015


Families have a ton of fun at the Valentine's Family Festival!

Contributor: Liesl Britzke, Human Resources Manager at Bergstrom Automotive and United Way Fox Cities Emerging Leader

I joined United Way Fox Cities Emerging Leaders in 2009 and served on the events committee. At that time, we were looking for an event that could be our annual "signature event". We did not want to compete with lots of other events or have an event in the summer (and, let's face it; there is not much to do during February in Wisconsin), so the Valentine's Family Festival was born.

This year's festival is on February 7, 2015 from 9:30 a.m. to noon at Maplewood Middle School (1600 Midway Road, Menasha). Typically, we have about 500 kids and their parents (kids must be accompanied by an adult). Organized chaos is how I like to view the Valentine's Family Festival. It is children and their parents having a blast decorating cookies, getting pictures taken in the photo booth, dancing around to music, playing games to win treats, making Valentine's cards for family/friends, and enjoying a nice lunch before they have a hunger meltdown from all the fun. Also, this year, thanks to a grant from Depend® (a product of Kimberly-Clark), we are so excited to give each child a literacy kit and send them home with a healthy meal to make with their family.

While everyone in the community is welcome, we put a focus on making sure families at all income-levels are able to attend. We hold the event at a location on the Valley Transit bus route. And, thanks to our amazing sponsors and volunteers, it is all FREE. There is a family that I have gotten to know that comes every year. They struggle to make ends meet, so they are so excited to be able to bring their kids to the event, provide a free meal to them, get a new toothbrush and enjoy themselves without wondering how they are going to pay for it. Their kid's faces light up and so do the parents, and every year, they say, "Thank you for holding this event!"

Our Fox Cities community is AMAZING… or I should say the people and companies are AMAZING. We could not do this without the 100+ volunteers and sponsorship companies. We are so fortunate to live in such a great community and to have United Way making sure that the future is going to continue to be bright for everyone.

Download and print the Valentine's Family Festival Poster (11" x 17" - Color)
Download and print the Valentine's Family Festival Poster (8.5" x 11" - Black)