EATON — Community of Faith held its annual Ultimate Helicopter Egg Drop on Saturday, April 15. The event offered inflatables, rock climbing, and a helicopter egg drop for ages 0-10. The event was located at the Preble County YMCA and allowed 2,000 kids to have Easter fun.
Registration began at 10 a.m. and only the first 2,000 kids were permitted to participate in the drop. Kids ages 0-3 hunted first, in a separate area where they were assisted by parents. Then kids ages 4-6 and ages 7-10 were separated and allowed to hunt for helicopter-dropped eggs.
Before the main event, inflatables, booths, and a rock climbing wall were set up for the community to enjoy. There was also a concession stand providing food at the festival.
Local police forces also came together to hold a K-9 unit demonstration.
According to Community of Faith Eaton Pastor Jeff Travis, this event was originally concocted to connect Community of Faith with the surrounding community.
“We’ve been doing this event for five years,” he said. “It was an opportunity for us to connect with the community. We recognize, as a church, that some people are never going to cross through our doors. We think our mission is to love the entire community, not just the people who come into our building. We really wanted to do this event to get to know people who might not be familiar with us, as a way to bless our community, and to have a good time.”
The event has been averaging 1,000 kids registered each year. However, 2,800-3,200 attend the pre-event every year. This year, the event had inflatables, games, and face painting. At the main event, they let loose 30,000 eggs for the kids to find. Every kid got roughly 30 eggs.
According to Travis, over the last few years they found that 30,000 allows them to have excess and so they have not increased the number of eggs released. If attendance increases, then they will up the eggs to match.
“My goal for this year is that people who have never been, come,” he added. “That they get to experience a safe, family atmosphere and maybe they get introduced to a group of people that share God in a way that they may not be used to. Our church has a lot of people that have been hurt by church or hurt by religion or just have a bad taste in their mouth about church in general. We’re hoping to help curve their opinion by doing this event.”
For next year, Travis hopes to add more inflatables, or at least diversify the types of games they provide. “We’re hoping to maximize it as much as possible,” he said.
Travis added, it is because of the event’s sponsors that they are able to include the entire community in the helicopter egg drop.
“I really like that we’re able to do this for free, because we get sponsorships,’ he said. “We raise money for our youth group with food concessions, but everything else is free. I like that we have a range of people. It’s a great diversity of people of the community. That’s our goal. We have people from Eaton and people from all over Preble County.”
2017 Platinum Event Sponsors included: Walmart, Fitzwater Tree & Lawn Care, GMT Roofing, Kettering Health Network, Lawn Plus, MAK Dental Group, Summit Chiropractic, Freeze Frame Foto Booth, Chuck Wagon, and SVG Motors.
2017 Gold Event Sponsors included: Cornerstone Manufacturing, Lee Plastic Company, Heeter Insurance, Freedom 1st Credit Union, Dave Biggs State Farm, Eaton Computer, LCNB, Wings Etc., S&M Services, Eaton Floor & Wall, Twin Valley Bank, and The Eaton Place.
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH