Each year, Cards to the Community participants express their love of the holiday season by designing and displaying 4-by-8-foot wooden greeting cards at Joint Services Park. Those who want to take part in this year’s display, which is free to enter, can register now with Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation.
“We encourage anyone who wants to enter to do so,” explained LoraLee Neubeck with the FMWR Installation Wide Events office. “It’s open to all types of organizations. We’ve had units build cards, families, homeschool groups, (family readiness groups), businesses and more. All we ask is that they follow the guidelines we’ve posted, making sure their cards are painted on both sides — and to make sure they’re staked down so they don’t blow away.”
Registration is open now through Nov. 27 and can be completed by calling Installation Wide Events at 573.596.6913. Once they are signed up, participants are given a spot to set up and secure their cards. Entries will be judged Dec. 1, when the winners will also be announced during the installation’s annual Tree Lighting that evening.
“We present ribbons and a certificate to the winners on the night of the Tree Lighting,” Neubeck said. “We will award ribbons to the top three entries and the Best in Show.”
She said now is the right time for teams and organizations to enter, start making plans, come up with their designs and construct their entries. A list of guidelines is available online at https://leonardwood.armymwr.com/happenings/cards-community.
“We want to make sure (participants) don’t feel like they’re under the gun and have plenty of time to complete their signs,” she said. “Basically, all they have to do is call our office, and we put their name on a list so we know who’s out there and are able to have a space set aside for everybody.”
In addition to the guidelines on the site, Neubeck said builders should be aware that electric service is not available for the displays, even though each entry will be lit by a spotlight.
“We don’t have electricity out there for the cards, so don’t plan on electric lights as part of your display,” she said.
She also stressed that securing the displays is as important as creating them.
“The one thing we run into each year, is that (participants) forget to bring anything to secure (their card) or tie it down,” she said. “They must make sure to secure their artwork, especially with our unpredictable Missouri weather, to make sure it doesn’t blow away.”
Neubeck said contest organizers have, “had a lot of people come up with some fun themes over the years,” adding that she’s looking forward to seeing what community members come up with this year.
“We’ve had some really great cards out there each year,” she said. “It really shows that the people in our community have a lot of talent — there are a lot of artistic and creative people out there.”