Saturday’s toy show at Liberty School looked like a celebration of fun and games. But it was also an event that supports a Saline High School program that prepares students for the workplace.
The annual toy show was held in support of Saline High School FFA. The show featured a wide variety of toys, both modern and vintage. Vendors from all over the Midwest were in Saline to sell their toys – including many that fit well with the FFA’s agricultural theme.
The show moved from the Washtenaw Farm Council Grounds to Liberty School this year – a move that proved smart, said Saline High School FFA Instructor David Mellor.
“We’ve got more room. People have space to sit around and talk in the cafeteria. There is more room for vendors to have their back stock. And it’s really warm,” Mellor said. “The other nice thing is that the Farmers Market is at Liberty School, too. There was a lot of foot traffic from the market. It was a nice fit.”
Vendors pay to attend the show. Mellor said vendor payment covers a lot of the cost of the show. The $3 admission fee goes to the FFA.
“The toy show pays for the annual FFA banquet and helps send students to the state convention,” Mellor said.
The show, itself, is a lesson for Saline’s FFA students.
“The kids run the show. They design the advertising. They write the contracts. They manage the event,” Mellor said. “I just oversee it.”
Saline High School senior Bill Poet said FFA has been a valuable program.
“FFA really helped me blossom as a leader. Through FFA I found I have a talent for public speaking and that’s something I think I can use all of my life,” Poet said. “FFA has also given me the opportunity to meet great people and make friends from states all around the country.”
FFA alumni Nate Girbach, a 1995 Saline High School graduate, is one of many alumni who pitch in at the toy show. Girbach, who farms crops and raises cattle south of town, said he’s glad to see FFA changing with the times.
“Farming is changing too. People might not realize it, but the technology change in farming is fast paced,” Girbach said. “You have to be savvy to stay on top of it.”
FFA, formerly known as Future Farmers of America, aims to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for leadership, personal growth and career success.
To contribute to the Saline FFA, click here.