The first ever Kosciusko County Kids Business Fair was held at the North Webster Community Center Saturday. The banquet room was set up with approximately 18 booths with kids from all over the county selling their wares.
From home made games, jewelry, Twin-keys, crafts, dog treats and more, the children sold their products while answering questions from nine judges, most of them business owners from throughout the county.
Mike Kissinger, a member of the planning committee, said he was happy with the number of entries for the event’s first effort, designed to get children interested in being entreprenuers. Kissinger and members of the committee dropped fliers off at schools around the county back in October and at public libraries to promote the kids business fair.
Hunter Fiedeke and Drew Williamson were running a carnival games booth. “There’s a winner every time. If you lose, you’ll get a consolation prize,” Williamson said running through his patter. The boys came up with the idea brainstorming during aftercare.
They were offering three games: a version of cornhole, a ring toss and miniature golf. Prizes ranged from a can of pop to playing cards, balloons and candy with the consolation prize being a Tootsie Roll.
“It’s such an educational thing. It’s a no lose … Just to have some money sense,” Kissinger said about what the children were gaining from the experience. “I’m impressed as heck,” he said at the ideas represented Saturday.
In addition to creating their own business, the children were given the opportunity to support a charity of their choice. And they had a variety of options, such as donating a portion of their proceeds or having a jar out on the table for people to drop donations into.
A couple of examples, Maria and Anna Saunders of Two Sisters Creations, which featured vases, candles, jewelry, book marks and other items made from recycled materials, gave a portion of their proceeds to Nothing but Nets, which provides mosquito netting in countries where malaria is prevalent.
Bode Grimes was selling bracelets featuring a fish hook naming his business F.I.S.H., which stands for Families in Serious Hunger. Funds from his project were going to Boomerang Backpack, which provides food for less fortunate school children over the weekend.
Alex and Anna Shock created their own specialty dog treats featuring all natural ingredients. Their research and development team of dog Rex and Princess were not able to attend the fair, but a representative of the charity they chose to support did along with the rescue’s “pet of the week,” Frankie, an Italian Greyhound mix.
Winners for the kids business fair held Saturday in each category were
Highest Business Potential:
Anna and Maria Sauders, “Two Sisters’ Creations” – grades K-2
Talia Holder, “Talia’s Designs & Desserts” – grades 3-5
Evan Coblentz, pet care services and tutoring – grades 6-8
Alex and Anna Shock, homemade dog treats – grades k-2
Bode Grimes, Fish hook bracelets – grade 3-5
Ella Williamson, “Crazy Daisy” – grades 6-8
Most Original Idea:
Nathan Harper, “Twin-Keys Snack Cakes” – grades K-2
Zoe Yarger, “Zoe’s Dezigns” – grades 3-5
Makaela Whitfield & Halle Shipp, Flavored Rice Krispie Treats – grades 6-8
Volunteer judges for the kids business fair were Deb Pilcher of Timber Retreat, Al Abrams of Woodway Fresh Fish & Seafood, Doug Dickerhoff of TTP, Brenda Rigdon of the Kosciusko County Community Foundation, Gretchen Kellems of The Posh Frog Shoppe, Darlene Hess of U.S. 30 Countryside Antiques, Cal Jackson of Creighton Brothers and Stacey Page of StaceyPageOnline.com.