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Posted: 07/02/14

PICNIC TIME. At top, Toppermost Beatles Tribute entertains the rain soaked crowd at the Ray Township Community Picnic. Bottom left, Sal Lograsso of Clinton Township and his children Sam, 4, and Natalie, 11, feed the goats at the Ray Township Community Picnic. Bottom right, Classic cars were on display in the Township Hall parking lot at the Ray Township Community Picnic.

(Observer photos by Stacy Sobotka)

Ray Twp. picnic a
success despite rain

Observer Special Writer
      Despite some inclement weather, a good time was had by all at Ray Township's annual community picnic on Sunday, June 29.
       The picnic took place at Ray Township Park on Wolcott Road behind the Township Hall. There was plenty of food and fun for all who attended.
       Supervisor Charlie Bohm welcomed everybody to the picnic and noted it was the township's 13th annual event.
       "I hope that's not unlucky by any means," he said. "We'll try to make it the best day possible."
       A flag raising ceremony kicked off the picnic. The flag, which flew over the state capitol in May of this year, was presented by State Rep. Ken Goike. Performers from All The World's A Stage sang "The Star Spangled Banner" as it was raised.
       Classic cars were parked in front of the Township Hall with their owners happy to talk to those interested in them.
       The Ray Township Ladies Auxiliary sold raffle tickets for gift baskets donated by various businesses throughout northern Macomb County.
       "We've got something for everyone -- golf, gardening, jewelry, massage, children's," said Cyndy Sears, who was running the raffle ticket table.
       Joe Dempsey, A.K.A. Just Joe, performed a magic show for children immediately after the flag raising.
       After the magic show, there was family friendly bingo with various toys and trinkets as prizes.
       There were also numerous exotic birds on display, pony rides, and a petting farm, courtesy of Animal Oasis. In the farm section were goats, sheep, miniature horses, alpacas, and even a tortoise.
       "We try to have a big enough variety so people can learn about these animals," said Jamie Rokita, who was selling feeding cones for the animals.
       Students from All The World's A Stage performed songs from popular films and Broadway shows in the volleyball court.
       Around 1 p.m., dark clouds appeared and rain started falling 15 minutes later. Everyone quickly sought shelter in the tents, either to play bingo or to enjoy a performance by Toppermost Beatles Tribute.
       "Welcome to the tent, everybody," they said as people came in from the downpour. "No soccer today."
       The sun came out again at 3 p.m.
       Despite the downpour, Trustee Betty Grader was optimistic.
       "I say it's a beautiful day in Ray Township, as usual," she said.
       Township resident Sue Brown has been coming every year since the beginning, and wasn't hampered by the rain.
       "We always love it," she said.
       It was a bittersweet day for the township, as it was the last day for Recreation Director Joyce Oliver. She said she enjoyed everything she has done in the township and that it was warm and welcoming.
       "There's a lot of people that are willing to help out, and we always get volunteers; you always get people willing and offering to help," she said. "They make it easier to do events and activities because they're such a good community. I hope that whoever takes over the recreation program continues to build it and has success with it because it really is a great community."
       Bohm was also delighted at the turnout despite the sudden change in weather.
       "Everyone I talked to was really happy," he said.

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