Origins Carry Their Way Through Part III

Our Journeys, Our Stories, Our Delaware – When it comes to putting the community into a festival thanks to the following groups, this was possible on June 8th.  One of the biggest goals of the Literary Art Magazine at Woodbridge, titled The Riff, is to create a sense of community through a variety of arts. The individuals who played a part and gave their commitment, time and effort to set aside a day for the sake of expressing their vested interest in community – meant everything in the grand scheme of what we were trying to achieve.  That was to celebrate the community we have as the state of Delaware.

AmityFrom their involvement in the 5k as a pre-registration site and donations of fruit and water, to the contributions of making cookies, lemonade, and tea towards the goal of fundraising (and walking the items over to the festival) – Amity was all in from the very beginning of the plans of the event.  It is exciting to have such a coffee shop willing to be a part of the community to the degree you dream of, and this Amity did and more.  The festival was accented with flavor thanks to Amity.

Andrea Paun – Way back when this was an idea, I remembered the activities I took students to volunteer at, during the Cherry Blossom Festival.  We’d work a booth and make crafts with students and it was glorious.  Thanks to the ideas of Andrea, and the representation of the Baltimore Aquarium, her creative crafts were available and her nurturing for the animals as part of the petting zoo were complete 🙂  On top of that, aquarium memberships were part of a giveaway!

Bethany Beach Bookstore Through the two years since I have moved back, I have seen Bethany Beach Bookstore be a MAJOR player in the community for literacy.  From holding authors talks for the community, to inviting teachers into professional nights, to traveling to a festival to share what they have to provide to the public on all corners of Delaware, when you walk into their establishment at Bethany Beach, you feel that same magical feel.  The popularity of literacy is only gaining momentum, and books will never disappear from the horizon thanks to the generosity of giving back like Bethany Beach Bookstore does on a revolving basis.

Clean Delaware- What matters is having the services available when needed.  Clean Delaware was one of the most cordial, polite, and convenient services enabling the needs of the simplest of a festival.  The quick response, the friendly service, and accommodations being able to occur on such a short notice says much about how this company also invests in the idea of community.

The Comic Book Shop- The generosity of this Wilmington-based shop, from donating two consecutive times to Comic Cons at the Greenwood Public Library, shows that all locations of Delaware make up a community.  Is the trek to Wilmington worth it?  Yes.  This establishment has SUCH a wide variety of all items graphic, gaming, comics, graphic novels, jam packed with much that will draw you in.  My hope is more individuals will come to know pockets of Delaware they were unaware of previously and forms connections all across the state.

Cora LaudatoCora willing to stay up into the wee hours of the evening, through countless problems in saving the video and literally staying up all night to produce a video showing individuals what art can be?  Priceless. The original plan was for Cora, a former student when I was in Mexico City, to come to Delaware (now that she lives in Florida) and create a community space where participants could add to a mural, that would be placed somewhere permanent.  Due to alot of factors, Cora did the next best thing with a video, but the hope is to get her to come to next year’s festival and be among the masses in contributing to an art show and workshop involving all into specific types of art. Her willingness to contribute to the overall sense of art in many forms to a wider community explains the lengths art can take to tie individuals together. It is vital to have all representations of art that represent all aspects of community. her ability to combine art with physical structures with Maco Assembly shows the depth art can take.

The Days of Knights – Finding supporters in one location to support an event in another – helps grow a community of those with similar interests.  The Days of Knights enabled the ability to prizes to be offered for tournament play in a variety of gaming opportunities. While we did not have the numbers we wanted this time for a tournament, I hope we can redesign the plan to insure we grow this aspect of gaming, and community, and appreciate the willingness from a very popular store in Newark to help create a gaming community here.  Also, I see a chance to bring possible tournament players could visit this establishment as well and bring others to this location to find out how they involve themselves into the gaming arena.

Dolores Beam Art from  305 W Market Street, Greenwood, DE  If you are not sure what art this is, I bet you do and do not even realize it. When you pass Vanderwende’s on Hickman that turns into W Market Street, heading into Greenwood, you can’t help but pass a collection of art of all caliber on the right side of the road.  I like walking through all this art to simply see the everyday objects that can be turned into a sort of art.

Gear Up – It was exciting to have a chance to allow the public to meet Harrison Barnes who won The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, received the Billie Jean King Youth Humanitarian Award from ESPN, is attending the Espy’s, and received many WHS Scholarships while continuing to recruit for Gear Up.  His availability to to the community and wanting to involve others is what community is all about.

Gerald Carroll – Gerald and family saved the day with one of the main attractions of the day – easily – rabbits, chicks, and goats oh my.  The effort to make this happen – and in actuality happening – was AWESOME.  The gentleness of the animals as well as the patience he and the animals displayed during the whole event – it made the festival absolutely complete.

Greenwood Public Library – If you saw much going on at the festival then image the schedule at the Greenwood Public Library that day! A full schedule of events, from Jedi training, introduction to the Reading Summer launch, as well as the art represented from WHS students, Pokemon, coloring activities, Cosplay activities, graphic novel orgami, and lip syncing, and you get an idea of how extensive and varied were the activities Donna Carter worked on to allow a full sense of activities for over 150 attendees, just in the library.  Thank you Ms Carter for buying in completely to what a sense of community can look like in one day, let alone the rest of the year.

Greenwood Police and Chief RaughleyAfter seeing the amount of help Chief Raughley provided for the 5k and seeing him set aside his day, with his family as well, to promote information and services – it defined who I wanted to be defined as in a community.  I remember looking across the way during the afternoon and seeing his daughter take in the day during the festival and I was happy to see his family so much a part of this day.

Greenwood VFW and  VFW Auxilary- Starting back earlier this year, Mr. Bob Trapp expressed an interest to be views as a central location for the youth and community at large, more than simply scholarships given out.  Yearly, the auxiliary supports all the libraries with books donated and often choices of teachers of the year.  We wanted to set the local VFW in a position to provide more  perceptions of healthy activities provided to the neighborhood at large.  Their generosity in enabling the space and location for an event for providing this paradigm shift of what makes community and the VFW’s role in that is off to an amazing start.  Commander Hayes as well as all the commanders and members of the Greenwood VFW showed what power a partnership with the community can enable.

Heart Art The highlight of the day, other than this creative art initiative, was when several seniors were unaware of this booth being set up at the festival.  It was cool to direct them to Shelby’s booth and to see them jump in and do an activity there.  I loved this extensive network idea put into motion to benefit so many within our community, and extending outwards.

Hungry Howie’s Pizza –One of the largest supporters of community I know, Craig Dimes and Hungry Howie’s as well as Rita’s has helped countless times with 5k’s and other events such as Homecoming, Prom, and festivals like this.  I love the fact that he is located in Seaford and again emphasizing the fact that community is state-wide, not limited to a district. His energies and role modeling of what a community business is speaks volumes.

Impact Graphix Signs Literally out of the blue, Zeke Wing reached out and provided his services of signs to assist in letting individuals know more about the festival occurring on June 8th. His dependability, generosity, and willing to offer festival day advertising filled a need that would add another layer of the community at large being aware of this event. It still amazes me how many individuals of the community are willing to step forward to help a community activity occur.

Jamez Styles and A’Shon I loved having these WHS students willing to get up on stage and perform.  Their connection to the class is exactly what I hoped for in musicians that were willing to share their talents with others.  I hope to see more of this in the future as well!

Jewelry Etc. – I loved the fact that this individual called and wanted to play a part in this festival. The representation at this festival of individuals local to the community, and active in what they do to sell items, from local and afar, make up the goals of a festival in itself.  I appreciate the fact individuals are willing to represent various aspects of the community through businesses they have decided to represent.

Karen Johnson – Helping not only represent MCJROTC but her community through the Bridgeville Public Library, as well as Apple Scrapple, and this festival, Ms. Johnson truly just jumped right in to keep things rolling as vendors came in.  Her independent, wise, and jump in while rolling up her sleeves while getting the job at hand was invaluable in June 8th.  She was everywhere, and then back again.  Her support in allowing this to be a “thing” was priceless and pertinent to all happening and being able to be pulled off.

Kelly Pisciotta – Ms. Pisciotta’s patience and time spent gathering all the works of art from her students for display was – AMAZING.  The pieces were poignant, excellent, and supported the theme of art and being a community.  This was a GREAT addition.

L&W Veteran’s Remembrance Society  As I drove through Woodbridge and saw the posted street banners on the lights of the town that showed veterans of the past.  David Miller’s initiative involving interviews of veterans is a huge asset to the community.  I felt one of the best connections to the VFW, as well as informing the community as a whole is an initiative like this.  In contacting David at you can connect him with other candidates as well as how to attend an upcoming meeting to further his project.  It was ideal a project like this was present with a festival in the hopes of furthering informing communities of their history.

La Famila Mendoza – The exact right taste when you ate this taco or elote sent me back to the street corners where I bought tacos every moment I could.  Taking the time to set up, provide tortillas, tacos, and elotes for the festival, perfect.  The tastes that exploded when I ate the taco was an instant flashback to the tastes I associated and came to respect Mexico as a home away from home.  The food prepared by Monica’s family, sealed the fact that I needed them at any and all festivals that might come along.

Lynnez Salty Heartwork – Some of the most refreshing, creative, and art that reminds you that you are in Delaware was represented at this awesome booth. This is art that definitely enhances and expresses at the same time.  As a literary art magazine, this is what we want to focus on, art from all over the world, that represents the local community as well as shares universal ideas and themes at the same time.  It was an honor to have this art represented and we want desperately more events to showcase this creativity, beauty, and ingenuity when it comes to art.

Marvelous Produce When talking to Shane and Cassidy, it is not difficult to see that community is at the heart of their business.  Wanting to insure someone willing to represent community is part of such a community festival was essential, and it was obvious for how much the Marvels give to the community in the form of events and activities, their presence went along with the goals of this festival. Accessible, local, and friendly, is all you need to know!

Passion Fruit Juice – Wow.  That is for the taste, the motivation, and the quality that student Alyssa brought to the table.  Her passion fruit drink was undeniably a wake up call to juices and you only can experience this by the taste.  I came across passion fruit once in Puerta Escondido and fell in love with the fruit and the juice.  When I tasted this – I could not place anything close to that original taste I had in Mexico.  Add to that the fact that she insisted the proceeds went to the festival itself, as well as bringing an elaborate collection of clothes from New York to also make available for sale for the festival, you have a selfless individual that you want to succeed at such a festival.  I am already imagining the reaction when individuals realize the quality of the product she has for sale and when others come across the clothing she has to present.  This was and is a GREAT and refreshing addition to a community festival.

Seaford Parks and Recreation-Having a love and want to create healthy recreational activities when I taught and lived in Seaford, this is no different than a need in every community.  We were lucky enough to have Katie Hickey present to emphasize that community is a state-wide, city-wide, and district-wide asset.  it was exciting to see the opportunities to catch bands from June 1 to September in downtown Seaford.  We need much much more involvement from other neighborhoods to bring together an awareness of community in all areas such as Seaford to involve many others that attend school, work, and travel through so many neighborhoods in Delaware as a whole.

Tim Moore and Jon Rene Holmes Family – Again, the ability to set up a professional sound as well as provide a venue for singers, musicians, announcements, music in general and have a festival be a presence is a valuable asset.  Mr. Moore and Slim Street Sounds bought that presence and more, and his invaluable energy, time, and effort was the reason this festival had the feel of a community from every step of the way.

Tyler GreeneWhen I first saw Tyler play in Dover, I loved his style and energy.  He proved on June 8th he had a talent that stopped people and they listened.  They did on June 8th for sure.  What an asset to have as part of the festival – and I look forward to seeing more of him in the future!

Vault 13 –  Louis was the link to wanted to create a sense of gaming that tied everyone together.  His presence and experience, as well as shared vision to continue to provide activities and possibilities for gaming.  A success in school for Angela and Rebekah, we found this an area in need of attention to better for future events.  Louis spent much time to prepare the area for games and possible tournaments, and we received little attendance.  As with any starting point, if we believe in it we saw the options needing work to grow this aspect of the festival.  We will meet again and go back to the drawing board and find what factors need to be tapped into to enable this to be a success.  Louis’ ability, his creative approaches to gaming, from being able to paint figures and involve them in existing games, to the variety of games he has to offer, this is a huge asset to community.  Not even realizing his location was there originally, I thought many others weren’t aware either.  I hope to change that due to his goals of creating a community of gaming.

Vanderwende’s Ice Cream Ice cream and Delaware – community is a sense of what you obtain when you feel when you walk into Vanderwende’s.  Thanks to Vanderwende’s, who dropped alot and added to their schedule this year the WHS Prom, this festival, and many more to come.  I appreciate a local business that represents community events in so many ways throughout the year.

Woodbridge Class of 2019   It was inspiring to be able to see now alumni announce their officer positions and their message that went out to the Tory Haynes’ fund and cause.  I felt it important to have alumni be able to come back and be greeted and met with members of our community, so ideas, past events, activities, and in the future a picnic could be held where alumni are welcome to come back. If we could have a constant revisit of those from the past as well as those in the present, another sense of community is created.  It was a great finality to what WHS and community means coming together at the beginning or end of a school year.

Woodbridge FFA Defining Delaware as an agricultural and natural state is done perfectly in the variety of activities the WHS FFA works with other FFA and ecological societies with. One of the most important values of being aware of the nature around us, is tgo be more informed of what can be done.  I would like to see much more involvement from our community and our FFA to bring together outdoor projects that impact our community together for the better.  It was a natural aspect to want FFA to be involved in a community gathering.

Woodbridge High Marine Corp JROTC and Boosters – Truly the backbone of support, planning, and generosity was WHS’s MCJROTC – their support for all vendors, for all to keep the festival operating, it was found here. Their devotion and ability to impress the diversity of support they are able to provide is wide-ranging, and it was shown through the glimpse of how supportive they were during all stages of this festival.  The flag induction was just a small element of how much a presence the MCJROTC is in our community if given a chance.  Their activities help change the minds of community, that military is one aspect of who they are.  There are much much more to their talents as was shown through all the stages of this festival.

Woodbridge High PASE The students in the PASE classroom are responsible for alot of maintenance and upkeep of our school.  From recycling, to producing pamphlets, flyers, posters, copying materials, and laminating, the PASE students are the ultimate behind the scenes of making things happen.  Always able to produce products in a pinch, this collection of students are a very active element of WHS and helped produce the schedule and guides /directories for this festival.

Woodbridge Roaming Raiders – This group of students and organization provides opportunities for students to travel and understand culture from other countries. Today the sno cones provided another resource towards this path.  It obviously takes funding to travel and every possible festival that is available allows students to raise funds towards this cause.  It is always an asset to have students representing paths to learning.  Katie Sears always come to the rescue when it came to helping with supplies and this shows the extended support and generosity that levels of community provide to each other.

Woodbridge Select Ensemble The National Anthem was crystal clear and elegant.  These talented group of musicians helped start the day off correctly – and it was easy to see how they were able to fit right in when they traveled to Florida for America Sings in Orlando, performing locally, as well as many school concerts give many a chance to see what they work on and produce.  We need many more involved to support their talents, and hope this is a huge start!



About Harry Brake

Employee of Woodbridge High School, Library Media Specialist, Media crazy! :)
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