By Sthefany Flores
Gardner-Webb University is expecting between 800 and 1,000 children to attend tonight’s Octoberfest.
Octoberfest was created by Sandy Hammett, Noel Disability Specialist, in order to provide an event for children in foster homes. In the early 2000s, Gardner-Webb adopted the event in order to create more volunteer opportunities for students.
“I was raised in an orphanage in the North Carolina mountains,” Hammett said. “Each year a group of college students would visit the orphanage and put on a fall festival. That had a big impact for many of the kids including myself.” Because of this experience, she wanted to do the same for the community surrounding Gardner-Webb.
Mindy Robinson, coordinator for Community Empowerment and Student Ministries, is in charge of organizing this year’s Octoberfest. She collaborated with GWU clubs and organizations and advertised the event to four local elementary schools.
Robinson said that this event is “an opportunity to provide a free family event for our community and show them that we are here for them.” According to Robinson, the event also ensures that the children that participate will get a free meal and allow them to have a safe experience.
This year, the event will take place in the LYCC from 6-8 p.m.