Author's Note: this piece originally appeared in our eNewsletter on November 8th, 2015, and has been reposted here to reach those not on the mailing list.
Yesterday, from 11am until 2pm, we sponsored a Make-N-Take event in the store where kids of all ages could come in, build a plastic model and take it home with them, all for free. We advertised it widely, even made a radio ad about the event, and all that work paid off, as we increased the number of models built by 50%!
A huge shout-out to the Mid-Michigan Model Makers Club, or the 4M Club as they are commonly referred to, for their members coming out and donating their time and expertise helping these kids assemble their models. I know we appreciate their assistance very much, and I'm sure the kids that built models yesterday do as well.
If you want to learn more about the 4M Club, check out their website or Facebook page, and be sure to mark your calendar for Saturday, February 6th, 2016, as the club is putting on their 32nd annual Model Contest and Show. Details about the contest, including the location and time, are available on the club's website.
I'd like to call attention to something in particular that the club is doing differently this year for their contest though. Recognizing that not everyone that enjoys building models is physically able to do small detail work or other such intricacies that model contests are usually judged on, the club is introducing a new category: the "4Me" category, with the "e" standing for "exceptional" - here is the category description straight from the club:
"This category is being created for individuals who live with challenges that would limit them from competition in any of the standard categories. Our intention is to create a category that would provide a venue for these exceptional modellers to display their work and compete on a "peer" level."
The club isn't stopping there. They have also created a mentoring program, open to anyone that wishes, to establish modelling goals and assess an individual's abilities, and partner them with an experienced modelling "mentor" to help learn new skills and abilities in the plastic modelling hobby. This is part of an effort to be more inclusive and allow anyone to discover the joy of plastic modelling.
I can't think of any other way to show just how awesome this group of people in the Mid-Michigan Model Makers is than that. We're very proud to be partnered with them as we are, and we're looking forward to extending that partnership as long as they'll have us.
Way to go, modellers, and thank you once more for helping keep our Make-N-Take events a success!