Guest column: Sunday is Funday celebrates its 14th year in August

RIO RANCHO, N.M. — This year’s Mayor’s Sunday is Funday will be the 14th annual event that brings our community together for an afternoon of fun and sharing what’s going on in Rio Rancho.

David Heil

Over the past several years, well over 6,000 of our neighbors have come together to enjoy one of the coolest and most exciting events of the summer. Please consider sponsoring this event and join us Aug. 18 from noon to 4 p.m. at Haynes Park and Pool.

Fourteen years ago, my good friend Tony Popper wanted to have a fun, affordable picnic event for all of Rio Rancho. He and I were both Rio Rancho Kiwanians, so we worked together to create Sunday is Funday.

This event has outgrown multiple city parks, and each year we have worked with the City of Rio Rancho and other community service groups to make it bigger, better, more fun and still affordable.

When we started, we weren’t thinking the event would raise money, but it has. All the proceeds after expenses go to programs that help youth and families, including the Boys & Girls Club, Boy Scouts, scholarship programs that help at-risk youth graduate, back-to-school clothes donations for kids from families in need, Kiwanis Key Clubs at our high schools, etc.

A big part of the thanks goes to our sponsors and those who pay for booth spaces to share information about their business or organization. In fact, this event has helped many charitable organizations spread the word and generate funds.

The most important part of this even is fun and the opportunity to share the day with neighbors and friends.

There will be many exciting events and musical entertainment, along with budget-friendly food. Fun jumps, a mechanical bull, a rock-climbing wall, activities for kids and interesting vendor booths — over 140 booths in 2018 — are just part of the fun.

You can take a dip in the pool and bid on bargains at the silent auction in the air-conditioned Haynes Park Community Center. The many beautiful shade trees provide a great atmosphere and break from the heat.

Admission is $1 for those 13 and older.

Individual and business sponsors have an opportunity to participate and, together, contribute to the growth and success of this community event.

Those interested in being sponsors or booth vendors, please contact me at 228-7189 or, or register for a booth online at the City of Rio Rancho’s website, More information is at or

A Mayor’s Competition has become a tradition at Sunday is Funday, and again this year, we will have a kickball competition. If you’d like to earn bragging rights and hold the Tony Popper Memorial Trophy for a year, you can form or sponsor a team.

Contact me for the registration form. If you sponsor a team, you can also compete in the Rio Rancho Road Runners Wheelchair Basketball competition that was a big hit last year.

Come join the fun! Become a sponsor, register for a booth space, donate a silent auction item or sign up to compete.

(Dave Heil is the chairman of the Sandoval County Commission)