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Fall run and fun benefit new Playlab, community

DGKN staff report

DALTON  Dr. Seuss characters, a roller skating Pink Lady, a skeleton, witch and other costumed characters made their way to the finish line Oct. 8 as part of the Wayne County Children’s STEAM Playlab Monster Mash 5K, fun run and Family Fun Day.

About 65 people signed up for the 5K and fun run to benefit the children’s museum that has a goal to open up next year by Dutch Kitchen just off of U.S. 30 west of Dalton.

Following the run along the Sippo Valley Trail a Family Fun Day was at Village Green Park in cooperation with the village of Dalton.

Food trucks, vendors, activities and inflatables were on hand during the sunny fall day. Both Dalton Police and East Wayne Fire District had vehicles on display and personnel available to talk to community members. Mayor Dennis Finley was at the event greeting visitors.

Board members for the WCCSP also had an opportunity to spread awareness about the nonprofit children’s science center. Frequent updates are available on the WCCSP’s Facebook page.

Saturday’s event gave people a taste of what’s to come with the new science center at the LincWay building including “bringing families together and having good positive learning experiences,” said Rachel Speelman, board vice president.

She added: “We are so excited to bring the Playlab to Wayne county. I’m a special education teacher and we really need something like this for the schools. But, it’s also going to be so nice for families to have somewhere to go year-round!”

Vendors were set up during the Fun Day portion including a couple young entrepreneurs. Jordan Pettaway, 7, of Orrville, and her brother, Jaxon, 6, comprise J & J Play Factory and sold homemade clay kits to people.

Melody Steiner, with help from her mom, Maria, of Dalton, has been selling cotton candy to raise money for Melody’s dream of becoming a pilot for Samaritan’s Purse. The 11-year-old has been focused on realizing her goal by working on her business, Sunbow 57 Girls, and learning every step of the way.

Lori Colon, CEO and founder of the Playlab, said she hopes to make the Monster Mash event an annual tradition and she would like to see more local businesses involved in the future. The Playlab has other fundraisers year-round. More information is available on the website at

“We’re just grateful to everybody coming out and supporting us,” she said. “The support takes us close to our goal of being able to open up the Playlab.”

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