Holly Carpenter smiles after putting a hat on from the dress up area at the DropZone! during her sixth birthday party at the West Guilford Community Centre on Saturday, Oct. 15. /Photo submitted by Jaime Bilodeau

DropZone! volunteer exemplifies civic duty

By Vivian Collings
We can all learn about the importance of volunteering to help the community from six-year-old Holly Carpenter.
Holly is rarely away from the DropZone! a family arcade and recreation space, at West Guilford Community Centre on Friday evenings.
“She needed to go every single Friday to go to her “job,” and if she couldn’t attend, if we had another obligation, she would make sure I called them to let them know Holly couldn’t attend to help that day. She takes it very seriously, like it was her job, and she needed to be there,” Jaime Bilodeau, Holly’s mom, laughed.
DropZone! co-organizer Sue Bridge said Holly has been essential to the success of the community arcade.
“Holly has been coming to the DZ since we opened. We have volunteer laniers and she puts one on as soon as she arrives,” Bridge said. “She tidies up whenever she sees a mess somewhere, and at the end of the night, she insists on helping clean up and pack up anything we have to put away, even loading things on the dolly and pulling it to the elevator!” she said.
Bridge said Holly’s grandparents, John and Angela Ball, have also been helping at the DropZone! since before it opened.
“[They have helped] with the initial setup, heavy lifting etc, helped us figure out how to use the big popcorn maker and the new snowcone machine, and since opening, sometimes helping with running the snack bar. They have just been amazing neighbours and volunteers,” she said.
Holly had her sixth birthday party at the DropZone! on Saturday, Oct. 15. It was the first time for a birthday party to be held at the event centre.
“Holly’s birthday party was fantastic. Everybody who attended had a great time. The parents were blown away with all of the activities that were available to them as well as the food options, which also are provided when DropZone! is operating,” Bilodeau said.

Holly Carpenter put on a puppet show during her sixth birthday party at the DropZone! at the West Guilford Community Centre on Saturday, Oct. 15. /Photo submitted by Jaime Bilodeau

The DropZone! is put on by Families in Motion! which provides recreational opportunities to families living or cottaging in the area and is based in West Guilford.
All ages had fun at Holly’s party, because there was something for everyone.
“The kids had a lot of fun with the karaoke area and the dress up area. They had a puppet theatre in the one back room that’s designed for younger kids, but all of the older kids had just as much fun in that area as the younger kids did,” Bilodeau said.
Almost 40 people attended the party, and it was a great celebration for someone who has helped at the DropZone! so consistently.
“Holly’s very independent, and she likes to help people. She really enjoys having a job, which I hope continues to when she’s older too,” Bilodeau laughed.

The DropZone! had their Grand Opening on Friday, July 8. It is a games arcade, but also a place for family fun, playing games and, simply, socializing for the young and young at heart, and also has a snack bar that is open between 4 and 9 p.m. every Friday evening with a $5 entry fee for everyone.
The arcade features a snack bar and everything from classic arcade games to karaoke, ping pong, Lego, and many other games.
Book your own party at the DropZone! Celebration Station! by visiting www.familiesinmotion.ca/the-celebration-station.