The Harmer Family
Today, families are finding new ways to spend time together and volunteering is one way to do just that. Did you know that research shows that volunteering as a family helps families identify their place in the world? It is a way to pass along family values and provide new experiences for the both kids and adults. It helps families learn how to solve problems together and helps younger members decide what they want to do with their life. Then, there's the Harmer Family. They are just plain crazy.
Nobody is having more fun serving their community than the Harmers. Nobody does more to help out at community activities than the Harmers. And the truth is, it has gotten to the point that we no longer could do a lot of it without them.
The head of the family is Wayne Harmer. Wayne came to our attention years ago when he wanted us to shake up things at the Rancho Cordova Fourth of July Parade. So we did, and in the bargain, we gained Wayne Harmer as a terrific volunteer.
Wayne loves the Fourth of July so much, he spends months before the big day designing and engineering and building elaborate parade floats, which keep sweeping the awards in both Ranch Cordova and now Citrus Heights, too.
We could go on and on about Wayne's devotion to the Fourth of July, but that would take away the time we need to tell you about his huge efforts to build Kid's Day at the Park and iFest.
To give you some insight: Wayne heard the Haunted Hagan Halloween event needed somebody to provide security in the dark corners of the park, Wayne just didn't say "Yes." He bought an Elvis costume and stands like a statue in a mock graveyard, scaring visitors silly as he brings his statue to life. That's the Harmer Way.
He refurbished the paddle boats used for the Fourth of July. He played Santa Claus at the Christmas Tree Lighting. He spent literally hundreds of hours digging trenches and pulling wire to build our Holiday Ice Rink and then sat back and asked for more.
Of course, that would be enough, but that wasn't enough for Wayne. He has brought along one family member after another until there are now three generations of Harmers making community events happen in Rancho Cordova.
For example, he ships out his sister Sheree from the East Coast to help him with Fourth of July tasks. She brings her daughter Mariah along and they both are in the front lines to make that event happen. Sheree is so hooked, she's moving here this summer.
Son Doug Harmer is a big beefy guy who makes a perfect night security guy for not only the Fourth of July, but iFest and Kid's Day and the Christmas Tree Lighting. As long as he's going to be up all night, Doug figures he may as well get stuff done, and does, making the Fourth of July happen - 24 hours a day.
Doug's brother Andy was there to help put up the Christmas Tree when vandals pushed it down, put up the new tree when it arrived and more. Then, just for the heck of it, he donated a trailer which is now used to do a mountain of work, and so it goes.
In the middle generation there is Allie, who everybody agrees is just about the best radio dispatcher we've ever had at the Fourth of July. She's also the mother of Jesse, who started out as the hardest working teenage volunteer we have ever had at the Fourth of July, the Christmas Tree Lighting, iFest, Kid's Day, and where ever else his Grandpa and Dad say he needs to dig in -- which would include the California Capital Airshow where he works alongside his Grandpa Wayne selling programs and posters.
Then there's Jesse's sister Angel, who is so pretty there is no reason to wonder why they called her that. Angel has been helping out all along the way, but was elevated to near celebrity status when the Airshow put her to work handing out free energy drinks called "Go Girl." And the Harmer beat goes on.
Of course, there's Nickey, Wayne's wife, who keeps the family fueled and in clean clothes, babysits for the littlest kids so the parents can help out at the latest adventure, and assorted other family members like Mariah and Faye, who have done everything from sell glow sticks to haul fencing.
But at some point you've just got to ask: "get the picture?"
We hope you do.
We can only say that it's a wonderful thing to see a family who cares about their community so much they make the community their family business.
So here they are, ready to take a bow: Wayne, Nickey, Doug, Andy, Allie, Jesse and Angel, with a shout out to other Harmers everywhere who could not be here tonight.
Thank you folks - we could not do it without you!