Coon Valley & Area Youth Foundation FAQ’s
The following are frequently asked questions we have received. These can also be found on our website, www.cvayf.org.
Q: Is the Coon Valley & Area Youth Foundation (CVAYF) a club that you have to join?
A: No, the CVAYF is a non-profit civic organization that was established to provide activities for children and youth in the greater Coon Valley area. The CVAYF board, which is comprised of volunteers, meets monthly to share ideas and plan activities. The activities we make available are mostly on a show-up basis with the exception of activities requiring a special bus trip, like the Corn Maze or the Winter Indoor Swim, for which we ask for participants to sign up by phone or online. We do require parents or guardians to provide us with a Registration Form, which can be printed from our website or obtained at activities. This form provides standard emergency contact information as well as giving the parent’s consent for their child to attend the activities. Unlike club membership, there are no dues and no requirements to attend activities.
Q: Is the CVAYF connected to any church or religious organization?
A: No, the CVAYF is a civic organization that serves all children in the community with no regard to religion or race.
Q: Is the Youth Foundation designed to help the disadvantaged? Are there income limitations for families who participate?
A: No, the CVAYF is for the entire community. Planning activities for groups can make these activities more available, more practical and certainly more fun. This provides opportunities for kids of any income level to get together with their friends and enjoy group activities where they can make even more friends. The only limitation we find to be necessary in some activities such as the summer and winter swims, is that of age. Because the shallow end of the pools are 3 ft. deep, children must either be old enough to swim in that depth of water or else their parent must come along and personally attend to them. Parents are always encouraged to come along and help chaperone any of the activities if they want to. That way the children’s activities provide opportunities for families to mingle and get to know each other as a community as well.
Q: How can you provide these activities for free?
A: Of course there is cost involved for every activity, but that cost is paid for by funding from our CVAYF sponsors and by funds raised by the Coon Creek Duck Race, which is held every other year. The CVAYF tries very hard to keep costs down to make the most of the funds we have, and many of the activities are staffed by unpaid volunteers. The summer activities, like the weekly swim at Westby Pool does have paid staff due to the frequency of the staffing required. CVAYF has employed teachers, college students and even high school students to supervise and help supervise the summer activities.
Q: What kind of oversight is there for the spending of funds?
A: Activities are discussed and decided upon by the CVAYF board, which includes estimates of costs. The Village of Coon Valley maintains a checking account for CVAYF funds. When a board member uses personal funds to purchase items for a CVAYF activity, they must bring the receipt to a board meeting and have it initialed by 2 other board members before turning it in to the Village Clerk for reimbursement. The Village Clerk also disburses CVAYF checks for expenses that come in bill form, such as charges for the bus, the PO box and such. The Youth Foundation is very grateful for the support provided by the Village of Coon Valley and especially the Village Clerk’s office.
Q: What are some of the activities that the CVAYF provides?
A: The CVAYF sponsors 3 major parties each year besides other activities. The Easter Egg Hunt & Party is held every year on the Saturday just prior to Easter Sunday. Also we have the yearly Halloween Party & Costume Contest on Halloween. The Christmas Party has been held in both late November, on the Saturday after Black Friday, and also has been in December. That date varies with the availability of the Village Hall and other such factors. Each summer, beginning later in June when the Westby pool opens, we take a bus to the pool there every Tuesday. We also have made bus trips to the Corn Maze and to the Winter Indoor Swim yearly activities. Other summer activities have included Bingo days, Hot Wheels & Hot Dogs days, Ice Cream Sundae building days, Tie Dye days, Let’s Make a Deal days, an Indoor Luau party, activities in the park like a Scavenger Hunts,”Coon Hunts” and Family Fun days. We’ve also taken trips to the Highroller Skating Rink in La Crosse and to Myrick Park. We have provided kiddie carnival games in Chaseburg Park for Family Fun Day, in Coon Valley Park for the Fireman’s Association and as part of our own Duck Race fundraiser. Speaking of the Duck Race, this fundraiser itself turns out to be a fun community activity as we dump large quantities of yellow ducks off one bridge into Coon Creek and everyone follows the floating flock to the other end of the park to see which ducks win the race. Mother Nature and flooding has caused difficulty with the last couple of races but we are hoping for lower waters for the 2012 Race in July. Besides all these activities, the CVAYF also has floats in both the Snowtrailer’s Parade in Chaseburg and also in the Memorial Day Parade in Coon Valley.
Q: Why do you people do all this?
A: True, it is a lot of work and a lot of volunteering, but it is very worthwhile. For those who are new to the area, it is a great way to make friends and get connected to the community, both by volunteering or just by bringing your kids to our activities. Kids get to meet other kids outside of their school grade level or immediate neighborhood. They build memories of fun times in community activities. This makes the entire greater community better. Our kids are our future. The smiles on their faces, their excitement and their enthusiasm make it all worthwhile. Many hands make light work, so many thanks also go to those parents who step up on the spot and help out. Your involvement makes the activities even better. If you are interested in volunteering or becoming a part of our board, then please contact us through the website, www.cvayf.org.
Q: What are the biggest challenges in planning these activities?
A: In the past finances have presented a great challenge. Thankfully in recent years the corporate and civic sponsorship we have received has made a big difference and allowed us to continue planning regular activities. We are very grateful for our corporate and civic sponsors and proudly display our sponsor banner at parades and major activities. The other two challenges go hand-in-hand. Some activities we prepare end up having a very low attendance. Those who come have a wonderful time, but we would like to see more kids enjoying all the activities. Sometimes the low attendance is due to unintended schedule conflict with other activities, but we think that in many cases people do not realize that our announcements and invitations are for them. CVAYF is not an exclusive club nor is it a charity. It is an organization providing activities for youth in our community. So the fact that we never know how many people will come to each activity is a challenge. Activities requiring a sign-up are more predictable as long as people sign up soon enough. The other challenge we face therefore is making sure that every activity is amply staffed and supervised. CVAYF runs on volunteerism. Activities like the Easter Egg Hunt tend to draw larger crowds, so when parents and even teens and kids come to us and volunteer to help out, it makes a huge difference. Those who help out find that taking part in making the activity happen makes it even more enjoyable. So for every activity we hope to see a good turnout and also a few parents willing to join in and help out too, even if it is on-the-spot or helping with cleanup. We find that the outcome we see is always worth the challenges.
Q: How do we know what activities are upcoming?
A: We try to make sure upcoming activities are listed in the “What’s Happening” section of the Westby Times. We also put out flyers, posters and standing signs along Central Avenue in Coon Valley. We also list upcoming activities on our website, www.cvayf.org.
Thank you for your interest in the Coon Valley & Area Youth Foundation!
~The CVAYF Board