APRIL 14, 2018 | DISCOVER! 4 | Community At a Glance: WHAT: CARES Carnival WHERE: Dickinson County Expo Center, 1600 15th St, Spirit Lake WHEN: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, April 21 COST: Free CONTACT: 712-336-2759 ONLINE: Find Dickinson County CARES on Facebook RYLAN HOWE | STAFF WRITER Who doesn’t like a carnival, there’s no entry or ticket fees, it’s free will donation for a great cause and you can have a fun afternoon with your family. Sheila Ove CARES Carnival Fundraising and fun for the whole family The carnival is coming back to town. The CARES Carnival is set for its second go-around at the Dickinson County Expo Center on Saturday, April 21 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. in Spirit Lake. The event is a fundraiser organized by Dickinson County CARES (Community Advocates Ready to Empower Survivors) with all proceeds being split between Family Crisis Centers (FCC) and Centers Against Abuse and Sexual Assault (CAASA). Sheila Ove, owner of Grand Occasions Event Design & Rentals in Spirit Lake, helped the event get its start and hopes it will become an annual occurrence. “A family friend came to us and said they really wanted to start fundraising and raising awareness and asked if we could possibly help them plan an event,” Ove said “We said ‘yes,’ and now almost three years later, this is our second carnival and we hope to make it an annual event.” Last year the CARES Carnival raised about $6,000 for FCC and CAASA, and the goal this year is to more than double that amount. “We felt last year’s carnival was quite successful. We had great attendance,” Ove said. “So we’re not changing very much this time around.” There will be carnival games like ring toss and fish bowls, inflatables, a clown, face painting, dunk tank, DJ, karaoke, petting zoo and a silent auction. “Special K’z the Clown will have a 30-minute stage show and put people in bubbles and she’ll walk around too. That’s cool,” Ove said. “The petting zoo was a huge hit, so that will be back, and the dunk tank will be there and we think our firemen will be back so we’ll be dunking firemen.” The one big change will be in the format of the carnival games. Last year visitors paid one dollar per game. This year it is all free. “The main reason is we don’t want to exclude anybody from coming,” Ove said. “We’re making it free will donation and hopeful that that can make it a more community inclusive event.” The few aspects of the CARES Carnival that will require cash will be the petting zoo, CARES Cafe, and the silent auction. The petting zoo charges $1 for a bag of food to feed the animals. CARES Cafe will have a simple menu with things like walking tacos, sandwiches and soda. Five dollars will get a carnival-goer a sandwich, chips and a soda. There will also be mini donuts, popcorn and cotton candy available during the carnival. Ove said they are still accepting donation for the silent auction as well. It will take place from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. And again, all proceeds will benefit FCC and CAASA. Interspersed between the game booths this year will also be informational booths set up by FCC, CAASA, CARES, Bikers Against Child Abuse (BACA) and perhaps a few more. “The carnival is definitely a driver in giving the community more information about the services that are available,” Ove said. “If anyone knows someone who’s a victim of abuse, they know it’s life altering. Help us The second annual CARES Carnival will be held from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. on Saturday, April 21, at the Dickinson County Expo Center in Spirit Lake. PHOTOS SUBMITTED help our community. It’s not something that’s comfortable to talk about, but we’ll counter that with an event that’s nothing but fun, a totally fun day.” Flyers will be sent out to all area schools including Spirit Lake, Graettinger-Terril, Harris-Lake Park, Okoboji and Estherville Lincoln Central, so Ove hopes to see plenty of families come by for an afternoon of fun and games. “Who doesn’t like a carnival,” Ove said. “There’s no entry or ticket fees, it’s free will donation for a great cause and you can have a fun afternoon with your family.” F Spirit Lake | Iowa
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