Successful fall festival needed for Holy Familiy Early Learning Center

Published 1:02 am Sunday, November 2, 2008

NATCHEZ — The walls of Holy Family Early Learning Center are becoming a bit more festive as the annual fall festival approaches.

This year’s festival is Saturday on the grounds of the school.

Festival chairperson Faye Barnes said the school depends on yearly fundraisers to meet operating costs.

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“The money raised helps pay our regular bills,” Barnes said.

Sister Bernadette McNamara, a festival organizer, said the annual event is even more important this year than in the past.

“In fact, it is our bread and butter, McNamara said. “It is absolutely necessary that we make this fundraiser work.”

As in years past, the biggest draw of the carnival will be the fun games for children. The carnival games will be open from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.

The games for this year include milk toss, ring-a-bottle, horse-shoes, pony rides and the ever popular duck pond game.

“Under each duck is a prize or bag of candy” Barnes said. “Most of the time they want to pick the duck with prize on it so they can pick what prize they want.”

Miracle Morris, a kindergarten student at the school said that is exactly the reason she likes the duck game.

“I’m going to get a prize,” the 5-year-old said.

Travis Berry, 5, said he is looking forward to the pony rides.

“I went to a different kind of carnival and rode a horse there, too,” he said.

Barnes said the fun isn’t only for the children.

There is also a garage sale, which begins at 8 a.m. and lasts until the rest of the festival closes down at 3 p.m.

“There will be clothes and household items that have been donated,” Barnes said.

Since the festival is still a week away, she said donations are still being accepted.

“We will take anything that can be sold.”

There are also cash sums being raffled off for $2 tickets. The first prize is $200 with $150 and $75 awards also being raffled off.

New to this year’s festival is a raffle for a HP Pavilion laptop that McNamara donated to the school.

Barnes said the cash prizes were donated by a local bank and such generous donations are the only way the festival can be a success.

Tickets for that raffle are $5 each.

Also scheduled for the fun-filled day is a spaghetti lunch plate that is being sold for $5 each. Plates will be for sale from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. on the day of the festival.

McNamara said that the tuition for the school increased this year but that still doesn’t provide enough money to cover day-to-day cost.

“We are still about $90 per child short each month,” she said. “We depend on fundraisers to make up the difference.”

The school has four main fundraising events each year with the festival being one of the biggest.

“We are hoping and praying and praying some more that this year is a huge success,” McNamara said.