Holiday Carnival will be fun way to help families in need

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By Audrey Posten, Times-Register


A new event organized by the MFL MarMac High School Student Council hopes to generate holiday spirit while raising funds for local families in need. 


The group will hold its first Holiday Carnival from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 18, at MFL MarMac High School in Monona.


Planning began not long after homecoming, as the student council brainstormed an impactful fundraiser centered around the holiday season.


“We wanted to do something different than a food drive or can drive. We wanted to do something out of the ordinary and fun for the whole community,” said member Mindy Keehner.


Families can enter the Holiday Carnival for a small admission fee, then enjoy photo ops and visits with Santa Claus as well as Christmas-themed games, Christmas movies, a cookie decorating station and hot cocoa bar with all the fixings. 


At Santa’s Workshop, kids can pick out a gift for a family member for a free-will donation and have it wrapped and ready to go to place under the tree. 


“We thought of different activities that are traditional around the holiday season. We started picking and choosing what would be good for a variety of ages,” Keehner shared.


“It was really hard to get it narrowed down,” said another student council member, Mariah Moser.


Funds raised will sponsor six local families in need this holiday season. Although the families are anonymous, the student council has been supplied with lists citing specific wants and needs, according to adviser Casey Evanson.


“The remaining funds after that are going to the Clayton County Food Shelf, which we’re hoping to donate at the Holiday Train on Dec. 8,” she said.


Both the school and community have been supportive of the upcoming event. In addition to student council members, volunteers from other organizations will also run the stations.


“Even just the student body is getting involved,” said student council representative Lily Johnson. “It’s what our community strives at.”


Others see how excited the student council is, quipped Evanson.


“They want to join in. It’s gaining momentum, which is a super cool thing to see,” she said.


It helps that the carnival is hands-on, according to Keehner.


“Students are tired of the same old activities we’ve done around the holiday season, and they are looking forward to something new and helping out the community,” she said.


The student council has also reached out beyond the school. Member Skylar Fisk said the community has donated toward the event to help offset costs. 


“For Santa’s Workshop, people can also donate gifts,” she shared.


Suggestions include new candles, baking items, lotions and soaps, fun socks, hats, toys, books and small garage items. Unwrapped gifts can be dropped off at the high school by Friday, Nov. 17, or people can arrange for pick-up with a student council member.


Keehner hopes the Holiday Carnival will become an annual tradition.


“Something people can look forward to every year,” she said.


Evanson stressed the event is open to all ages, and not just MFL MarMac families. Attendees can have fun for a good cause.


“The holiday spirit always brings out the best in people anyway, but just knowing it’s going to a good cause and that you’re making a difference for other people is huge,” she stated.

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