Naperville Moms Network Back 2 School BBQ

Photo Credit:  Naperville Moms Network

Last Saturday was a beautiful day for the Naperville Moms Network to host the 2nd Annual “Back to School BBQ”.  Held at the Grand Pavilion in downtown Naperville, over 400 people attended this free community event celebrating the start of the new school year!

Once we arrived, the first order of business was getting the three kids (my two girls and my sweetie’s daughter) fed before letting them run around and enjoy all of the fun things there were to do.  A fantastic spread was provided by Belgio’s Catering, and we dug right in.  Sitting between two families of friends at a picnic table, it was wonderful to look around and see familiar faces (and some new ones) enjoying great food, fantastic music (thanks to Sounds Abound Entertainment), and a stunning summer day!

As soon as the girls were finished stuffing their faces full of hot dogs and fruit, they started right in on their raffle contest cards.  Each child was given a 4×6 index card and their mission was to get a sticker from all of the 20+ vendors that were present.   I am so proud of all three of them – they were attentive and patient at every location (as much as a 9, 6 and 3 year old can be), listening to the adults talk about the specific vendors products.  Of course their favorites were the tables with candy or little trinkets.  And the balloon animals from the folks at Expert Plumbing were a huge hit!  Thank goodness that the Anabanana section was almost at the end because we pretty much lost them at the glitter tattoo station!  But they hung on and once their cards were
completed, they entered them in to a drawing for an iPod Touch or an American Girl doll (they had to choose which one).  After that, they made a bee-line for the bounce house and we didn’t see much of them again (that wasn’t through the mesh of the house walls) for the better part of 90 minutes.  Other kid activities available were manicures, hair braiding, face painting and coloring, but our girls love a good bounce house.

There were some great raffle prizes (lots of gift cards, massages, vendor consultations, kids puzzles and games) with all of the proceeds going to Loaves & Fishes Community Pantry as well as a local family in need.  We didn’t end up winning any of the days prizes, but we certainly didn’t walk away with empty hands (or belly’s!).   Thank you to Dr. Cathy Subber and her fantastic event planning staff at CafeNPlay and Advanced Health Naperville for organizing such an outstanding day. As a member of the Naperville Moms Network,  I’m proud to know that I can spend an afternoon reconnecting with old friends, get to know new people, do a little shopping, and watch the kids have a blast all while giving back to my community.

Thank you to the fantastic sponsors of this event:  Advanced Health NapervilleNaperville Bank & TrustEdgewood Clinical ServicesOswald’s PharmacyMacaroni KidsBelgio’s CateringSounds Abound EntertainmentNaperville Magazine, and the Naperville Park District.

Thank you also to the great vendors that participated:  Stella & Dot, Air & Allergy, Rodan + Fields, AnabananaMacaroni Kids, Second Vintage, World Champion Tae Kwon DoPrimrose SchoolBarefoot Books, Premier Designs Jewelry, Nickel A Day FilmsFrock N Roll ChicagoVotre VuScentsyKids Wealth InternationalCafeNPlayAdvanced Health NapervilleLoaves & Fishes Community PantryExpert Plumbing, Blissful BirthsClub RepsNutrition and Health Counseling.

We can’t wait for next year!!

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**Just an FYI that I did not receive any compensation/gifts from any of the vendors or sponsors who attended this event and mentioned in this post, other than the goody-bags and promotional materials that were distributed to all attendees.  We just had a really great time!!!**