Hands-On Activity is a Hands-Down Success During the 2012 National Convention

Story by: Secretary & Hands-On Activity Coordinator Natalie Minor

Activities for the Hands-on Event both kicked off and closed down the 2012 National Convention in Reno.  Number 8 hosted about 50 children from the Boys & Girls Club of Truckee Meadows in the Naples Ballroom at the Peppermill Resort Spa Casino Thursday morning, June 21. Dressed in “smocks,” the kids bedazzled stepping stones, participated in acrylic-on-canvas art collaborations, and painted water color pictures to take home. All the stepping stones and canvas art pieces were displayed at the Installation Dinner and Gala; most were sold in the silent auction, while select items were auctioned off to the highest bidder to cap off the Convention’s final event.

Over half of the Convention’s National and International guests signed up to assist with the Hands-on Activity—so many, they outnumbered the children. From as far as Costa Rica and New York, to Reno’s Nevada and Northern California neighbors, 2030ers banded together to offer a special and unique event for these deserving children. Among the Reno volunteers, National President Trena Roudebush, Region 1 Director Cory Arashino and Erin Arashiro from Indianapolis, Region 6 Director Goioa Hershey from Redding, Women of Redwood Empire President Kim Osborn and President-elect Kimberly Beard served as art station leaders. These individuals guided participants to cover the tables, lay out the art materials, and prepare the room for the kids.

Reno Immediate Past-president Sheri Russell and President Matt Denio met the Boys & Girls Club bus at the door, to guide the children and their four chaperones through the casino. Once inside Naples, the kids were split into two groups—one for watercolors and one for stepping stones. Seated at conference tables flanking either side of the ballroom, they pushed colored glass, stencils, and sparkles into drying mold, or whisked their paintbrushes across paper. Leaders milled around, meeting each other and helping the children to make lovely and decorative art for the auction. When they weren’t working on their masterpieces, the kids added their individual artistic expressions to the canvases set up in the middle of the room, played games with balloons, interacted with their chaperones in Simon Says, or helped other 20-30 National and International guests to build a pirate ship, Lincoln Logs, and Legos.

When it was time for the kids to get back on the bus, they were lined up single-file and given goodie bags on their way out the door. Each child received useful school supplies, craft materials, and candy in a decorative gift sack. Because of the outstanding number of participating leaders, the materials were swept from the tables and the room was cleaned in no time.

Tables along the hall to the Annual Installation Dinner displayed the Boys & Girls Club kid’s art work. Each work of art was given a title, and the silent auction ran through the meal. After the installation ceremonies and during the festivities of the Roaring 20’s and 30’s-themed party, choice pieces were auctioned off, for an overall total of $540. Auction items were distributed at the end of the celebration. Proceeds were deposited into Reno’s Overall Benevolent fund.

(Officer titles are those held at the time of the event.)

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