The 41st Annual Huff n’ Puff Days are here


The Slackers won the Class D Championship in action against the Pink Socks during the 40th annual Lake Elmo Jaycees Huff n’ Puff softball tournament last year, in which 96 teams participated. file photo

The Lake Elmo Jaycees are getting ready for the 41st Annual Huff n’ Puff Days Aug. 10-13. Although the four-day softball tournament is the main activity, Huff n’ Puff Days offers something for the whole family. This fundraiser includes food, prize drawings, games, a medallion hunt and a pancake breakfast, all with the goal of creating community fun while raising money for community and youth activities in the St. Croix Valley area.

Members of the Lake Elmo Jaycees, an all-volunteer leadership development organization that organizes Huff n’ Puff each year, say some of their favorite parts of this annual event are the food, the comradery, being able to fund community events, calling the games and meeting people from all over. 

 

Softball

The softball tournament includes 32 women’s teams and 64 men’s teams. The main location is Lions Park, 3525 Laverne Ave., Lake Elmo, but several other ball fields are used including VFW Field, 3675 Layton Ave., Lake Elmo; Tartan Park, 1653 Lake Elmo Ave. N., Lake Elmo; Lily Lake, 1208 S. Greeley St., Stillwater; and Jaycee Fields at County Road 12 and Deer Path in Stillwater. 

Games will be played in the evenings on Aug. 10 and 11 and all day on Aug. 12 and 13. The schedule and brackets are posted at Lions Park and updated throughout the tournament.

Registration for softball teams continues until all of the slots are filled. As of press time, there was still room for seven men’s teams to sign up, although all the spaces for women’s teams had been filled.

 

Medallion hunt

Aside from softball, a popular Huff n’ Puff activity is the medallion hunt. No purchase is required to hunt for the medallion, a specially decorated 2017 Huff n’ Puff button, which is hidden somewhere in Lake Elmo. 

Be sure not to miss the first clue, which comes out at noon Aug. 6. Clues will continue to be released at noon each day until the medallion is found. The winner will receive a $100 prize.

For the official rules and to view the clues, visit www.lakeelmojaycees.org. Clues will also be posted at www.facebook.com/lakeelmojaycees and www.facebook.com/huffnpuffdays.

 

Children’s Fun Day 

Saturday, Aug. 12 will be Children’s Fun Day at Huff n’ Puff Days. Free kids games and activities will be held noon to 4 p.m. at the playground area of Lions Park, including a story time and arts and crafts projects, hosted by the Lake Elmo Library, and a Mad Science show at 1 p.m. Various other arts and crafts activities will also be available for Children’s Fun Day.

 

Food

The Lake Elmo Fire Department will be hosting all-you-can-eat pancake breakfasts again this year. They will be Aug. 12 and 13 from 8 a.m. to noon at Fire Station One, 3510 Laverne Ave., across from Lion’s Park.

“It’s delicious! Make sure to stop out and get your fill,” says Justin Schwingle, Huff n’ Puff chairperson for the Lake Elmo Jaycees.

The breakfast costs $8 for adults and $4 for children. All proceeds benefit the Lake Elmo Fire Relief Association.

Aside from the pancake breakfast, all food and beverages will be provided throughout the event by Jaycee concession stands located at Lions Park. No outside food or beverages will be allowed on park grounds.

“All items available at the event are in-house in order to maximize our fundraising capabilities,” Schwingle says. “We encourage all participants and spectators to visit our concession area for your food and beverage needs, and support the event.”

Merchandise will also be for sale through the Jaycees.

 

Volunteering

Those who make the annual Huff n’ Puff event a family tradition may notice that this year offers all of their familiar favorites, but nothing new. Schwingle explains that membership has declined for the Lake Elmo Jaycees, which makes it difficult to add activities. Instead, this year, the Jaycees focused on making those key activities really great.

Still, Schwingle says the Jaycees could always use some help, and volunteers are always welcome.

Schwingle says there are more than 100 volunteer shifts that need to be filled, with the greatest need at the concession stand making and serving food. As a thank you for their time, volunteers receive food and beverage tickets for each shift worked.

Schwingle says, unfortunately, most shifts do not get filled until the last minute, but the Jaycees are more than happy to have any help they can get.

“Any time you can give is greatly appreciated,” Schwingle says.

To sign up, contact Heather Noyes at hmnoyes@yahoo.com or leave a message at 612-801-6145.

 

Special notes

For the safety of all patrons, there are no dogs or bicycles allowed in Lions Park from Aug. 10 through 13. This includes the entire park grounds such as behind the outfield and by the playground.

Participants and spectators are also asked to be respectful to residents and businesses by leaving the area clean and free of litter.

Schwingle notes that there is some minor construction near Lions Park, the main area where events will be held. However, it does not appear that it will effect this year’s celebrations. If this appears to change, Schwingle says information will be posted on the event Facebook page in the days immediately prior to the fun.

 

Aundrea Kinney can be reached at 651-748-7822 or akinney@lillienews.com


 

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