More than 500 residents came together for a good time and a great cause last month in River Hills. The community’s Homeowners Association (HOA) held its Fall Festival offering carnival games, activities, music from a DJ and food for the whole family only asking residents for donations to local charity Seeds of Hope Inc.

According to Julie Rule, co-chair for the River Hills HOA Social Team, the event featured nine carnival games and activities for residents of all ages.

“The young children took their shoes off and had fun on the slide and obstacle bounce houses. Teenagers enjoyed the carnival games that ranged from the nostalgic ring toss and baseball through to the all-time favorite plinko, while children, parents and grandparents challenged each other in sack races,” said Rule. “Most definitely, there was laughter in the air as all did their best to cross the finish line.”

The River Hills HOA provided hot dogs, brats, candy, popcorn and drinks and the vendor provided additional options for purchase.

“The event was successful due to the support from our community volunteers and donors, the vendors that provided impeccable service, and the generosity of our neighbors to serve others in need,” said Rule. “Our team is very thankful to all.”

The River Hills HOA Social Team was established in June to host year-round neighborhood events to foster fellowship and involvement for the more than 1,100 neighborhood families while supporting 501(c)3 organizations in the surrounding area. During the Fall Festival, River Hills residents donated more than 20 moving boxes filled with items including macaroni cheese, applesauce, peanut butter, granola bars, cereal, protein bars, soup, pasta and other nourishing food to support Seeds of Hope’s signature program, Backpacks of Hope which provides weekend food to students who might otherwise go hungry when school meals are not provided.

“Our upcoming events will continue to support those in need,” said Rule. “River Hills HOA looks forward to spending time with our family and our neighbors while serving others in the community.”

Upcoming events include the community’s popular Golf Cart Parade with a toy drive benefiting Metropolitan Ministries on Sunday, December 2 and a Pirate Invasion 5K and Fun Run benefiting the Special Operations Warrior Foundation on Saturday, January 12.

For more information, visit or call 662-0837.

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Kate Quesada is the Multimedia Manager for the Osprey Observer Newspapers. She has been working for the paper in various positions since 2005 when she graduated with her Masters degree in mass communications. She lives in Valrico with her husband Mike and son Dylan.