Apple Fest attendees enjoyed a variety of apple treats from Adrian Orchards on Thursday, Oct. 7, 2010.

We couldn’t have asked for better weather for our 7th Annual Apple Fest today on Monument Circle. You never know what you might get for the first week of October in Indiana, but it proved to be a beautiful day, for a worthwhile cause. The lunchtime crowd filled the tables and many could be seen enjoying a break in the sun on the monument’s steps with their warm apple cobbler and ice cream.  New this year to Apple Fest was our 22-foot Red Kettle bounce house. One excited young boy was heard exclaiming, “It’s FREE!”  That’s right, it’s free and you can expect to see our bounce house at many upcoming events!

Apple Fest is an event we look forward to each year because it’s a fun way to raise money to help combat a serious issue – homelessness. The Salvation Army’s Homelessness Bites campaign was formed to serve the men, women and children in our city who find themselves homeless for whatever reason. The number of homeless in central Indiana has grown during the past couple of years, due to the economy, loss of employment and a general downward trend in the security of families. The Salvation Army is passionate about serving these families and individuals in their time of need.

Each year during Apple Fest, there are a number of folks who share with us their stories – stories of how they ended up homeless, living in tents or on the streets, unable to find work due to drug and/or alcohol related offenses and have basically lost hope. Our goal is to reach out to these people and let them know we care and that God cares. It’s the perfect opportunity to at least feed them a warm meal and listen.

Offering hope and assistance to these people would not be possible without the involvement and support of all the individuals and business who have committed to being a part of events such as Apple Fest. It really does take the effort of staff, volunteers, sponsors and patrons, all combined.  The success of today’s event could be seen in the way that the Applebee’s team worked together to prepare, grill and serve a quick and delicious lunch. Volunteers served dessert – warm apple cobbler from GFS Marketplace with vanilla ice cream donated by Kroger. Rickers joined us this year, providing a beverage truck with sodas and water. Our friends from Bandwagon were back with lead singer Lisa Kopczynski belting out those familiar tunes for our listening pleasure. And it wouldn’t be Apple Fest without red, green and yellow apples from Adrian Orchards along with those cute little bottles of fresh apple cider. Other sponsors, such as WIBC, Indy Custom Cornhole, Two Men And A Truck, Comedy Sportz, and more, made for a great turnout.

A big Thank You goes out to everyone who  participated in Apple Fest. We’ll have the total for how much was raised for Homelessness Bites in the coming days and if your business would like to be a part of this great event or any of the upcoming events with The Salvation Army, call Kristen Grills at 317-224-1019