Behind the Scenes: What Makes Maple Grove Days Work?
The four-day community event comes to life with the help of hundreds of volunteers.
Mary Pruhs is the volunteering type. She gives blood when she can, she was involved in her children's elementary school classes when they were young, she chaperoned at the all-night high school graduation parties as her kids grew. So it comes as no surprise that Pruhs volunteers her time to help coordinate all of the children's events for Maple Grove Days.
When asked how much time she spends working on the four-day event, she can't even give a number. "It's 15 minutes here, 30 minutes there," Pruhs said. "It's something that I can give to the community that doesn't cost me any money."
The months of hard work only cost Pruhs time. The diaper derby, the children's parade, the obstacle course, the coin hunt--they can all be attributed to Pruhs. Her son, Jason, and daughter, Erin, also chip in.
"My children have been helping me coordinate everything for the last eight or 10 years," Pruhs said. "But of course I'm always looking for more people to help."
A Maple Grove resident for 27 years, Pruhs and her family know the Maple Grove Days well. But Pruhs' work, and the work of the many Maple Grove Days committee members, begins long before July.
"Some of our committees for Maple Grove Days are working full force in January," Deb Syhre, president of the Maple Grove Community Organization, said. From the entertainment committee to the medallion hunt committee, about 20 different groups form in order to coordinate the city's event.
"The medallion hunt committee is a very silent group," Syhre said. "Even the members of the Maple Grove Community Organization don't know where the medallion is hidden."
In addition to hundreds of volunteers, and people like Pruhs, local businesses step in to help put on Maple Grove Days.
The Maple Grove Rotary Club, Maple Grove Lions Club, Maple Grove Ambassadors and even Maple Grove Senior High School students volunteer time to make the festival fun and engaging.
"I think to be able to come out and enjoy the day, and not have to spend a lot of money, that's what parents like," Pruhs said. "I'm looking forward to it. I always enjoy it."