By Connor Ryan
The Bath-DeWitt Connection
DEWITT—Though the fourth annual DeWitt Community Showcase is still about two months away, many of the people involved are already getting excited.
The event is a collaborative effort designed to bring the community together. DeWitt Public Schools, the City of DeWitt and the DeWitt Chamber of Commerce produce the showcase as an opportunity for local and surrounding businesses to make their presence known, as well as a chance for DeWitt students to display their talents and be recognized for academic excellence.
Schavey Road Elementary art teacher Bob Jaruzel is looking forward to another exciting and personally satisfying experience.
“It is nice to see so many elements from our school and community coming together in a fun and festive atmosphere,” he said. “I always appreciate any opportunity to celebrate and encourage the creative efforts of my students.”
Ricky Wright, executive director of the Mystic Lake YMCA Camp, can’t wait for the organization to return to the showcase for the fourth consecutive year.
“It’s a way for us to make folks aware of the different programs we offer and just simply a way for us to connect with the community,” Wright said.
Ten sponsors are funding the 2015 DeWitt Community Showcase – some repeat contributors and some first-timers.
Kathy Valentine, owner of The Plant Professionals in Lansing, said the business has participated in the event all four years, but this will be its first year co-sponsoring it. Valentine, also a DeWitt Chamber of Commerce board member, says she is happy to contribute this year.
“I’ve seen the benefit of this showcase for the community and I just really felt that it was a worthwhile event for us to get more involved with,” she said.
Behind the scenes, event coordinator Beth Webb has been working with a well-rounded committee consisting of school administrators, DeWitt municipal members and several other community activists to sort out all of the details for what she expects will be another great turnout.
“We have such a crowd. We have two-thousand or more people that come through, it’s like, overwhelming,” Webb said. “I had no idea when we first did it, I looked around and it was like, wow, that’s a lot of people.”
Webb says the committee has been meeting once a month and will meet twice in March to finalize everything for the mid-April event. In the meantime, she has been scrambling to schedule floor space for the abundance of business applications already received.
Seventy-one of 176 spaces in the DeWitt High School gymnasium have already been allocated for businesses and organizations to set-up, Webb said. There is no selling at the event but participants will be able to exhibit and promote their products and services. Webb says she expects the remaining vacancies to fill up quickly as the showcase approaches.
The DeWitt Community Showcase will also feature a variety of foods from local eateries. It is free to the public and will be held at DeWitt High School from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. Thursday, April 16.