On Saturday, June 7, 2014, the Caldwell Family Centre celebrated its 30th anniversary with a Family Fun Day, a perfect party complete with blue sky, balloons, burgers and a bouncy castle. It was a quintessential June day, not a cloud in the sky, and just enough shade and light breeze to keep the more than 200 attendees comfortable and mosquito-free.
The event was kicked off by the Perth Town Criers, Brent and Shelley McLaren, who appeared in front of the Caldwell Centre at 11 am in tartan style, clanging their bells and pronouncing the Fun Day underway. An official welcome was given by David Walsh, executive director of the Caldwell Family Centre, then Stéphane Giguère, CEO of Ottawa Community Housing said a few heartfelt words in support of the centre. Maria McRae, Ottawa City Councillor for River Ward, presented David with a plaque in recognition of the contributions of the centre to the Carlington community over the past thirty years. Sister Lorena, a director and long-time supporter of the Caldwell Family Centre, urged everyone to “join the party !” and the event moved smoothly to the area behind 1475 Caldwell.
The smiles said it all. Kids with painted faced were everywhere, and the bouncy castle line-up never diminished through the whole event. Cotton candy was a big hit, inspiring creative pink facial hair for some young men and challenging others to multitask as they kicked a soccer ball around while balancing their sticks of pink goo. “Goopee” the clown was kept busy crafting balloon animals and entertaining young and old, and the popcorn makers were in constant demand. The line for burgers from the grill snaked across the field, and once everyone was fed, the Big Bucket Band treated the crowd to a few favourite songs, and encouraged kids and oldies alike to try out drums and keyboards, or to step up on stage and join them in a song.
It was truly a stylish celebration of a highly successful and unique organization that has been making a difference in the Carlington community for three decades.