Super Heroes + Real Life Community Heroes = Hanging With Heroes!
On Saturday, August 4, over 100 kids and their families gathered for a super day of fun at our 1st Annual signature family event, Hanging With Heroes! A huge thank you goes out to our venue sponsor, Grace St. Luke's School. The accommodations were perfect; a beautiful cafeteria space led straight out to a parking lot holding all the emergency vehicles. The day was perfect too; not a cloud in the sky and a lovely breeze. Thanks also goes out to SisterSisteR Balloons and More for providing all the event decor! Marvalista, the owner, went above and beyond designing and assembling balloon columns and various balloon bouquets. These pops of color directed families where to go throughout the event and added a punch of fun throughout the space. (We highly recommend booking her for your next party!)
The event started at 10 that morning, but a line quickly formed around 9:40, filled with excited kids, eager to give high fives to their favorite superheroes. Upon check-in, the first 100 kids received a swag bag and special sticker. Swag bag freebies and goodies were provided by the Dixon Gallery and Gardens, the YMCA, Emmanuel School, Bricks and Minifigs, Rise Buddy snacks, Crew Cuts and Pigtails, The 901 Scoop, and Grace St. Luke's. Raffle tickets could be purchased for chances to win prizes from The Little Gym, Pigtails and Crewcuts, Happy Feet Soccer, Thirty-One Gifts, Lori's Swim School, NonConnah Creek Conservancy, Borrowed Time Meals, and many more!
A party vibe was immediately felt when entering the indoor space. Local kid musician, Andrew Best, could be heard singing songs all afternoon. He had kids grooving and bopping around, providing an outlet of energy and enabling parents to enjoy meeting each other.
The cityscape backdrop was a huge hit for photo ops with Supergirl and Spiderman! The Superheroes were just super! They provided endless hugs, high fives, and smiles for each and every child. Giggles and laughter could be heard throughout the space. The 901 Scoop was on site selling giant snowcones and ice cream. YUM.
The Memphis Moms Blog successfully completed our goal of providing a variety of family resources with our unique vendors. If you missed the event, here they are:
Brian Callies Foundation
is a national non-profit organization "Saving Lost Kids." Brian has a passion and a mission to find and prevent lost children. Providing families with resources on child abductions, human trafficking, and other emergencies, Brian set up his booth to also create free ID kits for every child. On the Brian Callies Foundation facebook page, you can find a picture and known information of every child currently missing in Shelby County. Brian works closely with Memphis law enforcement and is an active presence in our community.
is a community institution! At the Y, strengthening that community is their cause. Every day, they work side-by-side with neighbors to make sure that everyone, regardless of age, income or background, has the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive. The Y, representing their new Crosstown location, Church Health Y, provided information about their Active Older Adults Program, Child Watch program, and other amenities such as free weights, cycle studio, indoor track, personal training, and their new Wellness Center.
Transformations Autism Treatment Center
is a local agency offering Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and other services in order to provide individuals with autism spectrum disorders and their families the necessary tools for academic, social, and emotional success. At Hanging With Heroes, Transformations provided pertinent information on how to help kids with special needs deal with first responders.
Easel Town Art
is a place that allows art to be a true expression of the childhood imagination. Owned and operated by Paul and Lisa Miller, they built Easel Town with the purpose of providing unique, high-quality fine art instruction for children in an environment that encourages problem-solving and a willingness to risk mistakes. Not only do they offer traditional "kid" art classes, they also provide a "homework cafe", "Kids' Night Out", summer camps, open studio time, sewing classes, hand-lettering, and much more. Check out their amazing website or facebook page to keep up to date on even more special things coming!
Food Allergy Alliance of the Mid-South(FAAM)
is providing allergy support, education, advocacy and fellowship to families in Memphis and surrounding communities. They increase awareness and encourage individuals and families that deal with managing food allergies. We are thankful they were offering eye-opening information and excellent resources to families! Thanks for the free samples of alternative "nut" butter to try too!
Happy Feet Soccer
is an exciting mobile soccer clinic for children aged 2-6. Our non-competitive “Story Time with a Soccer Ball” approach is used at daycares, preschools and recreation centers. We're committed to helping children form healthy exercise habits using the world's most popular game, soccer! We hope you didn't miss the free soccer clinic Happy Feet provided on the front lawn of Grace St. Luke's! Even Batman was intimidated by the skills of the kids that day! Fun (sweaty!) times!
Pigtails and Crewcuts
is a salon built for children! But haircuts are just the beginning at Pigtails & Crewcuts. In addition to trimming and styling, they host birthday bashes, offer ear piercing, and also sell accessories and their own line of hair products formulated specifically for kids (Goofy Grape shampoo, anyone?). Pigtails and Crewcuts is also known to be the perfect salon for kids with special needs. Their kind staff is capable of handling kids on the autism spectrum and any other child needing specific accommodations. Currently, in Germantown, owner Maura, is soon opening a second location in East Memphis! Whoo-hoo!
is a direct sales company providing fashionable, functional products to make life easier – while they also help independent business owners across the country support their families and reach their dreams. Thirty-One gifts are probably best known for their high-quality totes, duffel bags, diaper bags, and thermals. We were excited 31 Gifts provided not only one, but two cinch sacs for our giveaway table and also provided families an opportunity to purchase duffel bags to benefit our featured non-profit, Duffels4Kids.
is changing the culture of foster care, one duffel at a time. Oftentimes, children in foster care are given trash bags to use as luggage. Duffels4Kids aims to change this by providing every foster child with a free duffel bag to call their own. Duffels can be used for overnight visits or to pack their belongings as they transition back to their biological parents, to another foster home or to their forever family. Founded by Memphis Moms Blog contributor, LaShaun Wallace and her husband, the Memphis Moms Blog is proud to partner with Duffels4Kids. A percentage of our profits from Hanging With Heroes went directly back to this awesome organization!
Just a quick jaunt down the sidewalk ramp led to the parking lot adjacent to the cafeteria. Here you could find our awesome emergency vehicles!
A SUPER BIG Thank You goes out to our first responders for showing up in a super way!
First up, the kids enjoyed climbing up in a "real" school bus and meeting Kay, our sweet crossing guard. Her red stop sign taught the kids the importance of looking and waiting before crossing a street, and boy, her whistle is sure loud!
Across the lot was our ambulance. The two EMTs on board let the kids lay on the gurney inside the vehicle! They showed the kids all the medical supplies, backboard, and other emergency paraphernalia. These first responders explained the importance of their jobs and how they save lives daily!
Of course, the Fire Department of Memphis was on site with not only one, but two fire trucks! These guys showed up in full force and let the kids climb up and explore both trucks. The kids strapped in and pretended to drive. Protective fire gear was displayed and kids learned how brave these men are. Right before the end of the event, the Fire Department got a call! The kids watched in wonder as the men jumped aboard and took off with sirens blazing! Superheroes off to work!
Another real community hero the kids were able to meet was our own Memphis Police Department! The officer was amazing with the children. He allowed them to speak into the bull horn, sit in the caged back seat, and all received complementary police hats! Unfortunately, a few kids were lined up and almost arrested! The crime? Disturbing the peace with loud, crazy laughter! Good thing they were all let of with just a warning! Whew!
Our event wouldn't have been complete without a visit from Batman and his sweet ride, the Batmobile. More than a few dads could be seen drooling over his fast car! Many kids stood with stars in their eyes waiting to meet their favorite superhero.
We would be remiss if we didn't give a shout out to:
Dapper Donut for providing 400 mini donuts, boasting fun toppings such as sprinkles, caramel drizzle, and chocolate peanut butter! Perfect for tiny hands, these donuts got quickly gobbled up. Donut Hutt generously gave us 8 dozen perfectly glazed donuts. Cognizant of kids with food allergies, these sweet treats were able to be enjoyed by all.
The day's events were captured by the blog's candid photographer, Paul Burns. (In addition to providing photography, Paul owns Little Studio on the Square and is co-founder of the newest must-have gadget, the LidGrabber.) You can view the full photo album of Hanging With Heroes on our Memphis Moms Blog facebook page.