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Children focus of Kiwanis Christmas Fest

Last Modified: Thursday, November 01, 2012 5:01 PM

By Jordan Gribble / Special to the American Press

The Lake Charles chapter of the Kiwanis Club is holding its annual Christmas Arts and Crafts Festival this year 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday at the Lake Charles Civic Center.

This year’s event is different from previous years’ in that the festival focuses on children.

“We’re turning the Civic Center into a winter wonderland for the kids,” South Lake Charles Kiwanis club President, Ryan Navarre said.

The proceeds from the event will go to benefit local children, which is why the theme of the event was changed to cater to them as well.

“We just thought that families would have more fun with this event than with our usual arts and crafts fair,” Navarre said, “There will be a lot of things going on and we think they’ll enjoy it.”

The entertainment at the festival will be aimed directly at children with carnival rides and booths, a crafts area where they can make ornaments and stockings and a visit from Santa.

While the children play, adults will be able to start crossing items off of their Christmas buying lists, with booths from local and national vendors displaying unique gifts to be purchased.

The festival will begin with a preview party Friday, for those 21 and up, with hors d’oeuvres provided by Pat’s of Henderson. Tickets cost $5 for adults and $3 for children.

All proceeds from the event will go to fund programs that benefit local children.

“A hundred percent of what we raise goes to the kids, we’d do more for them if we could, and the more money we make the more kids we can help,” Navarre said.

Keeping with the theme of the festival, much of the money will go towards creating Christmas memories for disadvantaged kids.

“A lot of children here wouldn’t have a Christmas if it weren’t for us,” he said, “We take them out to eat, show them a wonderful time and then take them Christmas shopping.”

Navarre says that his involvement with this particular program has changed his life.

“I’ve been doing this since 1991, and it’s had such a profound effect on me,” he said.

“I make my older children come with me so that they can see the amazing things this group is doing for the community with the money that we raise from our festival.”

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