Day one of the West Side Nut Club Fall Festival is in full swing on Franklin Street.
The Harwood Booster Club helps local kids by offering baseball and softball programs. At this time last year, workers at their booth thought they were serving their first dinner crowd of the week. They had no idea it would also be their last.
This year, they couldn't be happier to be back on Franklin Street and couldn't be more grateful for everyone who's helped them get here and helping them serve up on a brand new grill.
Long-time Harwood Booster Club volunteer Scotty Willis was on the job last year when his week of fun and fundraising at the Fall Festival came to an early end.
"It was a grease fire and it got into the inside the wall and it just erupted," Scotty said.
Booth 99 closed less than 12 hours after opening. The club lost out on thousands of dollars.
"We've had a little impact on the program, but we are still involved in trying to get as many kids together and keep them out of trouble," Scotty said.
A big task, but one that became less daunting as the week went on and other booths pitched in.
"Everybody that I talked to realized if they had been in that situation how it would affect them," said Judy Grebe with the Salem United Church of Christ.
So as Judy went up and down Franklin Street, the donations poured in. $6,000 for the Harwood Booster Club.
"It meant a lot to us because you just see how everybody comes together," Scotty said.
That support and those funds are big reasons the booth is back this year. They are armed with a new grill and an even greater understanding of what it means to be part of the Fall Festival family.
"I thought about them almost every day the last month or two as were doing the frantic getting ready. So glad to hear they're back," Judy said.
"We've always known it once something happens to your booth or happens to you guys, it shows that everybody really does care and does come around to help you out in the time of need," Scott shared.
Scotty says the club's two main items are the portabello mushroom and the garlic pepper tenderloin, so be sure to check them out at booth 99.
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