Column: Volunteers put spark in CarmelFest

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There is more to May than just the opening of the Carmel Farmer’s Market and the running of the 98th Indianapolis 500. Not to disparage those two beloved spring institutions, but clearly, May also is becoming known for something much more important, (depending on who you ask).

Up to date, well-read and civic-minded Carmelites are nodding their heads in agreement, fully aware of where this column is going.

Yes, you guessed it. May is the official start of CarmelFest Spark Button season.

Don’t look so surprised. Spark Buttons have been going on sale during the month of May since 1994. That first year, it would be no exaggeration to reveal the idea to support CarmelFest fireworks with a $3, numbered lapel pin was slow to catch on. That first year, just 53 buttons were purchased.

Back in those days, a Spark Button had a unique number and you were required to look in the daily newspaper each morning, hoping your button number was printed, thus making you a winner. Today’s modern Spark Button makes every buyer a winner. No numbers. No checking the newspaper.

Each button comes with valuable coupons redeemable at Carmel’s finest merchants. It is rumored, a Spark Button purchase will net you hundreds of dollars in valuable merchandise, thus making Spark Buttons one of the best investments you can make.

Local volunteer Jack Badger again this year heads up the Spark Button team, and he gathered with young folks of the Carmel Mayor’s Youth Council, Carmel High School Government, Carmel Clay Parks and Recreation and the Carmel Key Club.

Giving up their afternoon, Matthew Klineman, Leah Zukerman, Ryan Woock, John Armstrong, Alex Yom, Tristen Stone, Joe Seo, Leo Biette, Jason Klein, Laura Boodt, Camille Nelsen, Jordan Nelsen, Ila Badger, Shari Worrell and Jack Langston worked on stuffing coupons in thousands of bags.

Your Spark Button awaits you at the Carmel Farmer’s Market starting May 17.


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