Valley Springs Community Club offers family-friendly appeal
July 11. 2014 6:00AM
They say it takes a village to raise a child.
But in Valley Springs, it takes a family-like effort to pull off a community celebration such as the city’s annual Booster Days, which is always the second weekend in July.
The town’s celebrations are largely organized by the Valley Springs Community Club, of which its membership hovers around 18. And for one family in the town, it’s simply been way of life since the Club’s start in 1982.
Laverne Scholten joined the group when it was first formed 32 years ago.
“I’ve spent my entire life in the Valley Springs area – born and raised here,” she says, “and I want to try to keep the community growing.”
And that’s a similar reason her daughter, Cindy Moss, and granddaughters Angela Danielson and Tami Jansma, and the rest of the extended Scholten family are involved with the Community Club.
“I just get such a good feeling from it,” Scholten says. “The activities that we do, we put all the money back into (the community) for flags or Christmas decorations or things for the city. We even bought some of the playground equipment at the ballpark.”
Cindy Moss said she grew up enjoying community events, and wanted her children to experience that same small-town fun. She continues to be part of the community organization so her grandchildren can enjoy that same experience.
Cindy’s daughter, Angela Danielson, said she, too, grew up enjoying the perks of the Community Club’s endeavors.
“The reason why I do it is because I grew up with my parents involved, my grandparents involved, my aunts and uncles involved. I grew up knowing that’s what you do to help your community,” Danielson said. “Seeing what all the Community Club does and seeing my kids’ excitement when they get to go to the Easter Egg Hunt or Santa Claus Day or driving through town and seeing the Christmas decorations with the lights all lit up, or going to the playground to play on the equipment, is why I do it.”
Danielson’s cousin, Tami Jansma, said her family’s involvement in the Community Club, was the natural progression leading her to the organization.
“It’s just important to give back to your community,” she said, “And it’s a fun thing to do for the community.”
Booster Days is the biggest event the group plans each year. They organize it at monthly meetings – 7 p.m. the second Monday of the month at City Hall.
“It’s so hard when we’re such a little group,” Jansma confesses. “But we all have our own little projects and that’s what we stick with. We all know how it works, where to be and we all work pretty well together.”
“The planning goes really well because we have people that have done it,” she said.
But the celebration is pulled off by the Community Club alone.
“Its not just family it’s the whole community, and everybody pitches in when needed,” Moss said. “We have great community involvement, but we’d gladly have more people join us. They bring in new ideas, and with more helpers, the more things we can do.”
Moss said much of the credit goes to the folks who first organized Booster Days and other city events. “If it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t be doing this,” she said.
She mentions folks like Marv Ackerman, who “got the fireworks rolling” and Marcie Lee who initiated the famed mud volleyball tournament years ago. She talks about the Valley Springs Volunteer Fire Department that takes charge of the firemen’s water fights and keeping the mud volleyball courts flooded or the Carda family that tills up the ground every year for the mud volleyball games.
“There are many people that help behind the scenes, and if we missed anybody, please know that all your help is appreciated,” Moss said. “If you went on and listed everybody that’s ever helped, it would be a long list. There are so many other people that do so much, and if it wasn’t for everybody else in the town, we wouldn’t have it.”
Booster Days has a long history in Valley Springs. Moss, now 58, said she remembers watching the Booster Days parade as it went by her grandmother’s home then. “Booster Days had been going on long before the Community Club was formed,” she said.
The town’s summer celebration was ran by the Valley Springs Optimist Club with some assistance from the Jaycee’s and the Jaycettes. When those organizations folded, the Community Club was born.
The Club’s major fundraiser comes from profits made in manning the concession stand at the ball diamonds, Danielson said. Each member is asked to work five to six shifts during the spring-summer season.
“There’s more we could do if we had more,” Danielson says. “We don’t have a whole lot of young people that grew up in Valley and have moved back here, but we’re always looking for help and new members.”
Adds Scholten, “We always have an invitation out for anyone who would like to join us.”