The key to keeping a volunteer event like Townville Old Home Days running smoothly for decades is simple, according to Garold Molli, who co-chairs the annual event.

“We have a lot of good people helping,” he said.

Each year, the community’s Old Home Days features a broad array of attractions for all ages, including a queens pageant, a silent auction, the popular ox roast, one of the largest parades in the area with more than 100 units and floats, and live musical entertainment.

Townville’s summer festival will marks its 40th anniversary when its held July 10 and 11 with the theme — “Caring for Our Community.”

To commemorate the 40th anniversary, a display of the festival’s history will be set up at Maplewood Elementary School in Townville during the event. The festival also plans to get commemorative shirts made for the first time since its 25th anniversary.

The theme “caring for our community” is reflective of the attitude of everybody involved, Molli said.

“There may be two of us,” Molli said referring to himself and co-chair Doreen Rumzie, “but there are hundreds of others involved.”

Some 150 to 200 help put on the festival, with proceeds benefiting the Townville Volunteer Fire Department, Townville Volunteer Ambulance Service and Townville Volunteer Fire Department Auxiliary.

A case in point is the number of pies sold during the event.

Since about 175 pies are needed for the two-day event each year, “We have two people just calling around getting pies to be baked and donated,” said Rumzie.

Planning for the festival begins in earnest in March with a local community steering committee of about a dozen, but the meetings are open to all, Molli said.

Proceeds of the event are divided, with 50 percent to the fire department, 30 percent to the ambulance service and 20 percent to the fire department auxiliary.

Plus, other non-profit groups can operate their own stands to fund-raise, Molli said.

But one of the biggest rules the committee has is “no duplication of booths,” Molli said.

“One stand just sells hot sausage, another hot dogs, another (soda) pop and somebody else water,” he said.

That’s to allow the fire department as well as other nonprofits like school music boosters, churches, other area fire departments and service clubs each to make money during the festival, he said.

“We try to keep it affordable for families,” Rumzie said of the festival and having nonprofits sell items. “We don’t want to make prices exorbitant. People have a certain amount of money to spend.”

In addition to the queens pageant, parade, games and food, the festival is trying to line up more entertainment for this year — especially for Saturday afternoon and evening. It’s planned to have entertainment from noon through 10:30 p.m. that day, according to Molli.

Keith Gushard can be reached at 724-6370 or by e-mail at

You can help

To volunteer to help with Townville Old Home Days, contact Garold Molli at 967-3813 or Doreen Rumzie at 967-2278.

Booth information: For outside booths, contact Chris Gordon at 967-3470; for inside booths, contact Donna Davison at 967-4398.

Parade information: Contact Judy McPherson at 967-2863.

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