When YWCA Carlisle officials worked through the organization’s strategic plan a couple of years ago, they knew the organization’s 100th anniversary in Carlisle was on the horizon.
“We discussed a lot of different ways we could celebrate this anniversary. A lot of organizations do galas or benefits. We decided we wanted to do something a little bit different,” said Katelynn Edger, fund development manager at the YWCA.
Officials wanted to do something that would not only benefit the donors and businesses who support them, but also benefit the people they serve.
Five years ago, Robin Scaer decided to take the plunge on making her passion into her full-time job.
The result is a community block party from 3 to 10 p.m. Saturday at YWCA Carlisle, 301 G St., Carlisle, to celebrate not only YWCA Carlisle but also the community.
Throughout the day Saturday, 23 of the YWCA’s community partners will have tables in the front circular driveway so they can share their missions with attendees.
LifeCycle, for example, will be there to do bicycle tune-ups, activities and giveaways. The group will also accept donations of bicycles that can be fixed up for someone to use or be used for parts to fix up another bike, said Sue Otway, a member of the committee organizing the event.
“A lot of the different organizations within Carlisle are successful because they work in cooperation with other organizations. I think there are a lot of different pieces within the YWCA that are very successful because of the community partners,” committee member Jill Bruce said.
YWCA Carlisle and the Carlisle Area School District have teamed up to make sure menstrual hygiene products are distributed to local middle school students.
Vendors will sell food throughout the day, but beer and wine will be available at the beer garden only from 6 to 9:30 p.m. Vendors include Big Bottom Brewery out of Dillsburg, Burd’s Nest Brewing Co., Castlerigg Wine Shop, Market Cross Pub, Dickinson Farm, Meadows Ice Cream, Midstate Taco, Miseno’s, Redd’s Smokehouse and Southside Deli.
“We wanted to make sure we had a little of everything, something for everyone,” Otway said.
Beer and wine will be separated out from the rest of the event, located near the stage so visitors can visit the beer garden and listen to the music. Live entertainment includes Reach, the Crescendevils, Keystone Theatrics at Allenberry, Rhythm Village, Steve Rudolph Trio featuring Cathy Chemi and Indian Summer Jars. DJ Brenda Landis will also provide music.
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The first part of the day, though, is focused on children and families, Otway said. Children’s events including games, face painting, a visit from the Carlisle Police K9, scavenger hunt and more will run from 3 to 6 p.m.
Committee member Sherrie Ruf said the event will be set up for people to move from activity to activity or to settle in to a lawn chair or a blanket to enjoy the music.
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The scavenger hunt, for example, will take families from the children’s area in the back parking lot to other areas of the block party.
“It’s to encourage people to mingle and mix with each other, with the crowd, with the other vendors, with the other community partners,” Ruf said.
From the diversity of food available to the different musicians to the activities themselves, the day will fall in line with YWCA Carlisle’s mission to eliminate racism and empower women and girls, Ruf said.
A chalk mosaic, for example, will feature symbols to represent women who have contributed in every discipline throughout history, Ruf said. The mosaic will be done in squares like a quilt, and cards will be hung on a nearby twine to tell people what the symbols mean and who they represent.
The block party will close G Street from Factory to Franklin streets. Off-street parking will be available at the Carlisle Swimming Pool lot off of H Street. YWCA Carlisle also encourages people to ride their bicycles to the event.
The committee has worked with the Carlisle Police Department and the community to keep people informed about the event and its effect on parking or travel through the area, Edger said.
“While it does get busy out here, there are plenty of places that people can find to park,” she said.