Happiness Project brings visitors to Milford

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MILFORD — The rain held out most of Saturday for the Happiness Project’s arrival to town, according to co- organizer Jason Burlew.

The all- day music festival saw 31 music acts along with vendors of all varieties at Avenue United Methodist Church in Milford.

Even better, he added, “I think it’s safe to say we hit our 1,000 attendees goal, but I don’t know an exact amount.”

Mr. Burlew, along with Candy Fortney, worked closely with the artists and vendors to help raise funds for the Ronald McDonald House of Delaware.

“We were really excited to be involved with this year’s festival. Most of the families we serve are from the Kent and Sussex counties and we loved the idea of helping show them that we are, indeed, in their communities,” Laura Marek said.

“Besides the rain in the afternoon, the vision we had for the event was pretty much carried out exactly as we had hoped,” Mr. Burlew said.

“The goal was to provide a fun and safe community event that allowed people to connect with new music that they hadn’t heard before and to connect with local organizations and vendors that they may have heard of but wanted more information about.

“My favorite part was hearing specifi cally from performers, non-profi t organizations, and vendors how happy they were coming to the event and how surprised they were by the scope of the event, the organization, and the detail we put into it.”

The event was new to Milford, although it might not be the last time it visits the dual- county city.

“In fact, yesterday, I talked to Jason and Candy and said if they wanted to come back next year, we could work it out,” Tom Pasmore, senior pastor at Avenue United Methodist Church, said.

Church members present during the event said they were surprisingly pleased with the turn out.

Staff agreed.

“We wanted to engage the community and invite a group of people in that don’t normally have a chance to come into the church,” Pastor Pasmore said.

“I thought it went really well. Jason and Candy were extremely pleased and we couldn’t have been happier with the event.”

Mr. Burlew and Ms. Fortney said they hope to come back to Milford for future events, although they have not yet picked a location within the town.

“We are extremely excited about the possibilities and the future of The Happiness Project Music Festival,” Mr. Burlew said.

“ I can’t guarantee we will be back at Avenue United Methodist Church again in the future, but we’d love to be back in Milford, and we greatly appreciate everything the church members, board, and pastors did to help us produce such an amazing event.”

Ms. Fortney expressed similar sentiments, saying, “Milford is awesome. Everyone seems so positive and open to the idea of spreading happiness and positivity around to others. As one of the co- organizers of The Happiness Project, spreading happiness and positivity is what we do. So, Milford is great.”

The pair said “ the sky is the limit” when it comes to future plans of the project.

Jennifer Antonik can be reached at mc@newszap.com

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