What a wonderful Upwards season this was! The kids had a GREAT time and were kinda sad to see it end. Plus, for me, I had already mentioned the opportunity I had to be more involved by doing devotions and how nice it's been to meet new people!
As the end of the season was approaching, Rich and I were asked if we would be able to help set up for the awards program and help out during the one program our kids weren't in. (They hold two separate awards celebrations in order to fit everybody.) Last year I would never have guessed how much planning and work was involved in any of it and I have to say that I am amazed by the volunteers who do so much to make Upwards such a special program for the kids.
I had the kids' picture taken together to save money and thought it turned out super cute! The only trouble was that they were using the individual pictures as a project for the kids to do to decorate for the awards program...so they snapped a couple more pictures of the kids for us...
...and they made these stars after their last game with their teams. One wall of the gym was covered in all the kids stars!
Another decoration they had for the awards program were action shots taken by the photographer during the game. (From what I understand, he just does it out of the kindness of his heart and isn't compensated for these pictures.) We were welcome to take the pictures from the wall after the second awards program. Unfortunately there were none of Blake, but there were some awesome ones of Morgan!
For the awards program to come together, the stage needs to be set up, 420 chairs put in place along with 15 tables for the kids to eat their ice cream sundaes. A tunnel with flashing lights, and smoke was put in place for the kids to run through with music playing and everyone clapping in unison during the program. I already mentioned a couple of the decorations. There were also tables set up with cookies and punch for the families that have come to watch. Programs were made up for each award program and door prizes were given out to some lucky people who filled out questionnaires.
Here are the kids accepting their awards.
They also received special gifts for participating this year.
Rich and I helped out in one of the rooms that the kids wait in until they're ready to accept their awards. We mostly made sure they stayed put and were in the right order when they left the room. I won't go into details on that portion of time, but 22 kids in a small room with nothing to do can get a little crazy! ;-) After the awards, we went and helped serve the ice cream sundaes, then were back in our room to hand out basketballs to the 3 teams we helped watch during the program. Since we helped at the second award program, when it was done, it was tear-down time! I was amazed at all the people that stayed to help and how quickly everything came down!
I think I'm as sad as the kids to see this season come to end, but we have next year to look forward to! For now we're going to enjoy our break from sports! :-)