by Erika Buri

With Thanksgiving around the corner, we at TOPS take this time to look at all the help we received from the community over the past year and make sure our partners know how much we appreciate them. The organizations and businesses we work with make it possible for TOPS to provide amazing programs to the community. With their help, these events get better every year!
Spring kicks off our community event season with the Egg Hunt and Trout Derby. These oldies but goodies provide lots of opportunities for businesses to help us keep them fresh and fun. For this year’s Egg Hunt, Texas Roadhouse surprised us with 500 colored eggs stuffed with coupons and a Hershey Kiss to go along with other treats the kids received when they returned the eggs they’d collected at Olander Park.
Our premier sponsor for our annual Trout Derby is Jann’s Netcraft. They make it possible for all our participants to go home with something to remember the event by, even if it isn’t a fish! This year they provided door prizes and T-shirts to our 600 young participants. We are looking forward to celebrating the event’s 30th anniversary with them in 2020! For those who caught a fish, Lowes provided one of their signature five-gallon blue buckets. A new addition to this year’s festivities was a bike raffle provided by Spoke Life Cycles. The two kiddos that went home with their new bikes couldn’t wait for the weather to warm up for their first ride.
This summer’s updated band line-up for our Sunset Serenades Concert Series was made possible with a generous donation from Buckeye Broadband. Oakleaf Village came through again providing popcorn and lemonade at every concert, helping to keep concert-goers refreshed during this summer’s steamy weather.
The autumn season kicks off with what has become our biggest event: I Love Olander Day. This celebration would not be possible without the huge number of volunteers that pitch in that day! Big thanks to all those who took a few hours to make the event so successful for our 5,000 visitors! The very popular Duke Petting Farm and Book That DJ/I Got Framed donated a portion or all of their services that day, and Spoke Life Cycles held a second bike raffle, donating the proceeds to TOPS.
The Halloween Hike is yet another event where we rely on our stalwart volunteers. Regardless of the weather, these folks help make a fun night of trick or treating for the 600-800 ghosts, ghoulies, princesses and superheroes parading around Olander Park. Meijer was joined by Michael Sarantou and The Home2Home Team as the main sponsors for this year’s event.
Finally, we want to express our gratitude to our local partners who help us bring you fun and innovative programming throughout the year. This year we partnered with the Toledo Lucas County Public Library, Oak Openings Chapter of Wild Ones, Keep Toledo-Lucas County Beautiful, Toledo Astronomical Association, and Lucas Soil and Water Conservation District. These partnerships create new ways to engage with your parks.
Want to be part of the fun in 2020? Contact Erika at Join us in making Sylvania a great place to live, work AND play!