Family Day in Russell
Children enjoyed traditional winter fun at the Russell Optimist Club’s winter carnival at the fairgrounds on Family Day.   Photo courtesy Paul Deveau

Candice Vetter
Villager Staff
RUSSELL – The Russell Optimist Club hosted a smaller version of the Russell Winter Carnival on Family Day, Mon., Feb. 19, at the Russell fairgrounds.

Nothing trivial about it. The trivia night held recently to benefit the Russell Optimist Club raised $10,000 including silent auction items, on Sat., Feb. 3, in Russell. Photo courtesy Paul Deveau

President Rachel Genest said the club had been approached last year by the Russell Kin Club about taking on the carnival. The group couldn’t manage a multi-day event, but found four hours on the holiday to be a manageable size, and it seems the public agreed.

Treasurer Paul Deveau said 150 hot dogs had been sold, so he and Genest estimated the total crowd number to be higher than that. Carnival goers enjoyed traditional winter carnival activities, such as tobogganing (on a hill built by Griffiths Cartage), horse-drawn wagon rides by Gary Scharf, face painting, and children’s games. Besides hot dogs, other food offerings included chili, and Garland’s Sugar Shack provided maple taffy. Corvinelli Homes was also a sponsor, allowing the whole event to be free to families.

Recently, the club benefited from a sold-out trivia night and raised $10,000, all of which will be put back into the community, much of it in the form of children’s programming.

The Optimist Club’s next event is the annual Easter Egg Hunt in MacDougall Park in Russell, from 10 a.m. to noon on March 30. Children should bring their own baskets.