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Fort Macleod Kids First carnival to help fund new family centre

HEATHER CAMERON – GAZETTE CONTRIBUTOR
Fort Macleod Kids First Family Centre will hold a summer fair and carnival fund-raiser from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, July 11 at the curling rink.
“The idea is to have families come out and enjoy a fun-filled day with their children,” organizer Tenille McDougall said. “We want every person who comes to feel like they have stepped into a carnival and will be smiling ear to ear enjoying the experience.”
After putting on a concert the previous fall that received positive feedback that indicated a family-friendly event was wanted, Kids First elected to organize and put on the carnival so that families could enjoy themselves together.
The carnival has been in the works since December and the proceeds from the event will go towards establishing a new family centre at W.A. Day School for children aged five years and under and their families.
“Kids First will soon have a place to call home, with all program that we do under one roof,” McDougall said. “For the last 14 years Kids First has been putting on programs for children and their families throughout the community. The goal is to have a space where all families are welcome and supported in one accessible location.”
There will be games including mini golf, water boat races, tricycle races, and bean bag toss at the fair as well as an arts and crafts booth, a multi-instrument music booth, a puppet show done by a local couple, an open sing-along with Chris and Maureen Chambers, and a lollipop pull.
Prize donations including stickers and passes to Head-Smashed-in Buffalo Jump, Empress Theatre, Heritage Park, the Sparks Science Centre and the Movie Mill have also been donated for the fair.
“We will also be selling popcorn and Melissa the cotton candy lady will be present, because you must have cotton candy and popcorn at a carnival,” McDougall said. “There will also be a concession with additional treats and lunch and supper items. We can’t forget Twister the Balloon Lady will be here too from 1-3 p.m. making balloon animals for the children. There will be 18 carnival booths with tons of things for children and their families to do.”
A highlight of the fair is that lengths of duct tape are being sold to tape W.A. Day School principal Richard Feller to a wall.
McDougall said that was found on Pinterest as a good way to raise money and Kids First thought it would be a fitting addition, seeing as the new family centre is in W.A. Day school.
“We thought it would be fun for the children to tape their principal to the wall,” McDougall said. “Mr. Feller is such a great person for doing this to help raise money for the new family centre. He won’t be there all day. It will start at noon and go until 1 p.m. We want to see if we can raise enough money to hold him up to the wall.”
McDougall and several other mothers including Darcie Herweyer, Tera DeKok and Meranda Day Chief, Kids First employees Susan Simpson, Trish Hoskin, Lucille Provost, Leilani McDougall and Ashley McDougall, board member Niesje Vanden Dool, and Angie O’Conner, from FCSS were all involved in planning, getting donations, and ensuring the event would turn out well and also ensuring that there were enough activities available for maximum enjoyment.
“We all see the need and the importance of having a place where families can come together in a safe environment and enjoy their day,” McDougall said. “We all came up with ideas on what we would like to see at this event, and if we would bring our children to something like this was always the thought in the back of our minds. We all have taken on the job of looking for donations to cover the cost of this event, as well as making and gathering the supplies we will need for the carnival. I think we have done a really good job working together to make this event happen.”
McDougall would like to thank everyone who has been involved in the planning and who will be involved in the execution of the fair, especially all of the mothers who have taken time from their busy schedules to make sure the event is successful.
“Mothers who have taken time out of their busy schedules to put an enormous amount of energy in planning the family carnival, I wouldn’t be able to do this without them,” McDougall said. “It is a challenge at times to get together and meet due to nap time and work. It does get a little loud too during our meetings, because of all our children joining us in the meeting.”
“We are all mothers and somehow we just work through it. But these moms including myself want to put on an event that will be fun for everyone of all ages as well as raise money for a new family centre that our own children and the children within our community can enjoy and take full advantage of.”
Additionally, McDougall invites anyone who wants more information about the Kids First Family Centre or the carnival to visit www.fmkidsfirst.com, the Fort Macleod Kids First Family Centre page on Facebook, or @kidsfirstfc on Twitter.
“We are all very excited and proud of this event coming up,” McDougall said. “Now we would like to share and invite everyone from the community and surrounding area, to come have a fun-filled day with their families.”

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