Day in the Country celebrates 40 years
Published 9:36 am Friday, May 2, 2014
Merle Monahan/Contributing Writer
ZUNI—For 40 years Zuni Presbyterian Homes and Family Services has designated one day in April to open its doors and campus to the public, so families and visitors of its residents could tour the facility and just have a fun time with their loved ones.
The annual Day in the Country on Saturday was no exception. An estimated 500 people strolled around the campus enjoying the activities, which were spread from one end of the grounds to the other. Vendors sold everything from jewelry to purses, paintings and flower wreaths, to name a few.
One vendor, dressed in mountain-man attire, even had animal pelts and a bear trap for sale.
Food and beverages were in abundance. Provided by the Zuni Hunt Club, there were hamburgers, hot dogs and the hunt club’s famous pork chop sandwiches. Just a few yards from the food concession, several ladies were selling a large variety of baked goods, from whole homemade cakes to cookies and candy.
Additionally, at the far end of campus, both the greenhouse, with a variety of plants and the peanut shop, featuring several kinds of peanuts, were open to customers.
Activities are always provided for both children and adults, according to officials. This year especially for the younger visitors were, hay rides, face painting, a moon bounce, bingo and a puppet show.
On-stage entertainment included songs by a former resident, Scotty Blue, the Kirkwood Presbyterian Praise Team, “Harmony on the James Quartet” and a presentation by magician Ron Radcliff.
This year, as in years past, the Peanut City Cloggers presented their rousing program in the parking lot, while the PHFS staff prepared for the live auction which followed.
Always a highlight of the day is the annual auction, with auctioneer Robert Bishop.
A former director of the homes, Bishop started the fundraiser many years ago as a single event, but has since combined it with the Day in the Country activities.
Proceeds from items sold, which this year included several Amish hand-made quilts with one selling for $600, go toward the homes’ operating expenses, said Bishop. He added that all items are donated.
Presbyterian Homes and Family Services is a facility that trains young mildly retarded adults to eventually live, with little supervision, on their own. Residents come from out-of-state, as well as from the immediate area.
Although supported by many organizations, one is especially dedicated to PHFS.
The Kuwaye Steering Committee, a part of PHFS that under the leadership of its president, Dawn Womble, promotes goodwill and educates the community about the opportunities at the Zuni facility.