Gingerbread garlands and putting greens lined the hallways of Newton City Hall for Mayor Ruthanne Fuller’s annual charity mini golf event, as children and adults alike came with toys in hand for a unique game with a generous purpose.
“We all need more joy in life,” Fuller said. “Having something that all ages can enjoy, see City Hall, and have fun feels great for the city of Newton and our community.”
The event was a collaboration between The Village Bank and Newton’s Department of Health and Human Services as a part of The Village Bank’s annual Holiday Gift Drive.
“Thanks to our neighbor’s generosity and the amazing partnerships with our incredible community providers, we have been able to continue our now 16-year-long tradition of delivering gifts and holiday cheer to local families,” Village Bank CEO Joseph De Vito said in a statement on The Village Bank’s website.
The drive provides local children with toys and families in need with grocery money, according to the Village Bank website. Mini golf participants brought unwrapped toys and grocery store gift cards in exchange for their golf clubs and entry to the event.
“It’s fabulous that people can come and play but also bring a toy so that somebody else can have some holiday joy this season,” Fuller said.
The 18 holes spanned the majority of City Hall, leading players through hallways, the City Council Chamber, and Fuller’s office. Each hole featured a different theme, such as pink dolphins, bowling pins, and rocket ships.
“We welcome the community to come and enjoy the course and help those who are in need,” the city’s official website reads.
Fuller said that mini golf is the perfect event for uniting the Newton community, especially as the increasingly cold temperatures limit outdoor activities.
“Mini golf can be played by a four-year-old and a 94-year-old,” Fuller said. “Having something to do inside during the holiday season is a lot of fun.”
The Village Bank provided funding for the assembly of each hole and volunteers to help keep the event running smoothly. Village Bank Community Relations Officer Sue Chapman sat by the City Hall doors and assisted visitors with dropping off their gifts and choosing their clubs and golf balls.
“We are supporting this event monetarily, but also just being here and welcoming the guests to come in and enjoy,” Chapman said. “We’re just so happy to be a part of this organization and to help the community.”
Fuller said she is proud to host the event for the second year in a row. As countless couples, families, and groups of friends come together in Newton City Hall, Fuller said she appreciates the opportunity to share the space.
“The mini golf gets people all through City Hall, which we love because this is the people’s house,” Fuller said.