By ANGIE HAFLICH
Hannah Proffitt of Garden City has a lot of big ideas.
"I like to do things big. I'm lucky enough to be surrounded by creative people who will help me out with my big ideas," Proffitt said.
Proffitt, who somehow juggles a full-time job, two children and a husband (one of the people who helps her the most), finds time every year to coordinate the annual New Year's Eve celebration at Garden Valley Church and plan and decorate some elaborate floats for the Christmas Parade.
"It's kind of a busy time of year for me," she said.
When asked how his wife does it, her husband, Justin Proffitt, laughed and said, "I have no clue."
One of Proffitt's big ideas for the Christmas float this year was transforming a large yard snow globe into a giant gumball machine.
"Sometimes we do a theme. This year, it was 'Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,' and the float was like a candy land,'" Proffitt said.
For a past float, Proffitt, with help from her husband, put an actual carousel on the 52-foot trailer they use each year.
"We lucked out on that one because Justin's grandfather owned a carnival, and we borrowed the center to an airplane ride, and we built the carousel horses ourselves," she said.
Proffitt said she wouldn't be able to do any of it without her husband's and others' help. Her creative juices come naturally. She attended fashion school in California. There, she was able to come out of her shell a little bit, but she said she didn't really fit in there.
"You have to be really aggressive. I'm really good at like behind the scenes — I'm a hard worker — but I don't come off very aggressive," Proffitt said.
Proffitt has been involved in church since she was a child, and now she's passing that on to her own children, 5-year-old Dominik and 3-year-old Danika. Dominik said he enjoys attending the church's Kid's Club.
"We learn about Jesus and God," he said.
Proffitt also plays the piano and keyboards and will be reuniting with her former band, RPM, to play the church's New Year's Eve celebration this year.
"I pulled everybody out of retirement and said, 'Let's do some songs,'" she said, laughing. "So, we're going to give it a shot. We're all getting older, I guess."
There also will be a youth group from Garden Valley Church and praise bands from two other area churches performing at this year's celebration. And Proffitt is bringing in some break dancers.
"I like to watch people dance, so I think that will be fun — something different," Proffitt said.
Her goal for the celebration each year is to provide something for every age, but she is particularly focused on providing something for teenagers to do on New Year's Eve.
"I like the thought of them being somewhere where there's not the negative peer pressure you sometimes get on nights like that that, you know, to drink," she said.
In past years, there has been a paper airplane-making station, a gingerbread house build-off, limbo, musical chairs, and the balloon blow-off, in which teams compete to fill a teammate's giant-sized pants with blown-up balloons.
"Because there are a lot of people, you want a big group activity that a lot of people can do, but it has to be fun for people to watch, too," Proffitt said.
This year, she has a new activity planned, based on a game show.
"We're going to try hole in the wall, which we'll see," she said, laughing.
"On the show, they have this big wall coming at them, and it has a cutout so they have to try to position their bodies to fit through the hole. (In the show), they wear pads and head gear, so I'm hoping we pull it off without anyone getting hurt. We're going to use this Styrofoam stuff (for the walls) so it will break really easily," she said. "I thought 'Well, that would be entertaining.'"
She also makes sure there are things for the older crowd to do.
"There's one lady from our church who brought her mother who's in her 90s, and they were back there playing checkers," she said. "I thought that was cool."