Treats abound at the Indian Summer Children’s Festival

Lynn Willow Gulli enjoying the Indian Summer Children’s Festival which benefited the Willow Project, named for her. Sept 30, 2018 Photo: Leslie Yager

The weekend went out with a sizzle at the Indian Summer Children’s Festival at Audubon Greenwich on Sunday.

Young families were drawn to back country and kids loved the many imaginative activities, including tie-dying, painting kindness rocks, SDSS martial arts, slime making, milkweed bombs, bouncy castle, karate, face painting and much more.

Shane Kirsch, Pete Francis

Pete Francis and Shane Kirsch performed in the barn at Audubon Greenwich during the Indian Summer Children’s Festival. Sept 30, 2018 Photo: Leslie Yager

Inside the spacious barn, guests had a real treat with Pete Francis who performed live with fellow Greenwich resident, Shane Kirsch.

The family-friendly event was perfectly suited to its spacious venue, as kids were able to run around in the fields and trails without parents fretting.

There was more live music including the Trummytones, and children got to hopping and bopping. A bit later, Allegra Dance Greenwich organized the group in a follow–the-leader dance.

Allegra Dance Greenwich led the children in a follow-the-leader dance. Sept 30, 2018

PJ Connolly handing out green cotton candy at the Indian Summer Children's Festival at Audubon Greenwich, Sept 30, 2018 Photo: Leslie Yager

PJ Connolly handing out green cotton candy at the Indian Summer Children’s Festival at Audubon Greenwich, Sept 30, 2018 Photo: Leslie Yager

The green cotton candy was a hit, as was the “candy bar” where kids could fill bags with their favorites sweets.

The event benefited The Willow Project, a community fund for Lynn Willow Gulli, but it was Lynn’s idea this year to donate $5,000 of proceeds toward the family of Steven Sudell, a young cancer warrior in Greenwich.

“This year Lynn decided to help out the Sudell Family,” said Lynn’s father Rocco. “The fact that she never complains and is always looking after other people makes people smile. We have no right to complain, because she doesn’t complain.”

“This is humbling,” Rocco said of the popularity of the event, with a nod to the swarms of young families wandering among the activity stations.

“It was going to be just a small get together, and friends invited other people,” he continued. “The amount of people and support has been amazing. Just to see the amount of people who took their free time to be part of our family is really something.”

Rocco said since Lynn’s diagnosis, going quickly from good to bad was horrifying, but, he said, with support of so many friends and family they have simply risen to the occasion. “It just becomes the new normal.”

Lynn and her father Rocco at the Indian Summer Children’s Festival, Sept 30, 2018 Photo: Leslie Yager

“We were always very private as a family and now, all of a sudden it’s a very public life for us. You find out how warm people can be,” he said.

As for Lynn, Rocco said, “She realizes life is not fair, and she fights through it.”

At the check-in table, one of the founders of the Willow Project, Suzannah, was busy handing out the maps of activities and checking people in.

“We’re so happy this turned out to be such a beautiful day and we’re grateful that the community turned out to show their support and raise awareness for childhood cancer.”

Enjoying the many treats at the Indian Summer Children’s Festival, Sept. 30, 2018 Photo: Leslie Yager

Tie-dying at the Indian Summer Children's Festival. Sept. 30, 2018 Photo: Leslie Yager

Tie-dying at the Indian Summer Children’s Festival. Sept. 30, 2018 Photo: Leslie Yager

Craig Jones and Olivia at the Indian Summer Children’s Festival. Sept 30, 2018

Robert Stacy with Margaret, Susan, Jamie and Grayson. Sept 30, 2018 Photo: Leslie Yager

Kids got to be just kids at Audubon Greenwich during the Indian Summer Children's Festival, Sept. 30, 2018 Photo: Leslie Yager

Kids got to be just kids at Audubon Greenwich during the Indian Summer Children’s Festival, Sept. 30, 2018 Photo: Leslie Yager

Kids got to be just kids at Audubon Greenwich during the Indian Summer Children's Festival, Sept. 30, 2018 Photo: Leslie Yager

Kids got to be just kids at Audubon Greenwich during the Indian Summer Children’s Festival, Sept. 30, 2018 Photo: Leslie Yager

Painting kindness rocks at the Indian Summer Children's Festival, Sept. 30, 2018 Photo: Leslie Yager

Painting kindness rocks at the Indian Summer Children’s Festival, Sept. 30, 2018 Photo: Leslie Yager

Craig, Olivia, Liam and Kristen at the Indian Summer Children’s Festival. Sept 30, 2018 Photo: Leslie Yager

Lynn Willow Gulli

A variety of beer from Val’s Putnam Wines & Liquors. Sept 30, 2018 Photo: Leslie Yager

  

Christine Dodaj and her daughter Brenna at the Indian Summer Children’s Festival, Sept 30, 2018 Photo: Leslie Yager

Alex Delev and Gwen Briggs sampled RISE Brewing Co Nitro Brew Coffee varieties. Sept 30, 2018 Photo: Leslie Yager

Katie Barakat and Cindy Gulli at the Candy Bar at the Indian Summer Children’s Festival, Sept 30, 2018 Photo: Leslie Yager

The Trummytones intrigued the littlest ones at the Indian Summer Children’s Festival, Sept. 30, 2018 Photo: Leslie Yager

Allegra Dance Greenwich led the children in a follow the leader type dance. Sept. 30, 2018 Photo: Leslie Yager

Allegra Dance Greenwich led the children in a follow the leader type dance. Sept. 30, 2018 Photo: Leslie Yager