Sep 22, 2010 Ned Campbell Uncategorized
When Rita Griffin founded the Marcellus Fall Festival last year, she wanted to make it “bigger and better” than Reason 2 Smile could afford on its own, so she enlisted the help of Kathy K. and Optimist Club and Pam Carey and the Friends of Marcellus Park. The festival raised over $3,000 for Reason 2 Smile, an organization that assists impoverished orphans and at-risk children in developing countries.
All three groups have returned for the second annual festival, slated for noon to 5 p.m. Sunday at Marcellus Park. This year they will split the proceeds. Griffin pointed to a common thread between all three organizations when describing why they decided to share the funds.
“All of us represent some form of helping children, whether it’s children in our area or the children in Kenya,” she said.
What’s at the festival
One of the festival’s strong points is its athletics, thanks to the creative energy of retired gym teacher Kathy K., who represents the Optimist Club. The festival will again feature volleyball and kickball tourneys (anyone interested in signing up is encouraged to call Rita Griffin at 673-2660). There will also be a three-mile run, which circles Marcellus Park, starting at 11:30 a.m. and a fun run at 10:30 a.m. The three-mile run costs $5 a person or $10 a family, and the fun run is free.
Brand new to the festival is the golf ball drop, an invention of Kathy K. People can purchase golf balls at $1 each or $5 for six until 3 p.m. Sunday. A purchased golf ball gets you a number, and the corresponding golf ball will be marked and ready to fall from a giant net with all the others at 3 p.m., with assistance from the Marcellus Fire Department. They’ll be using a 75-foot latter to pull it off. When the golf balls drop, the contestant whose ball stops closest to the pin will win $100. Second closest wins $50, third closest, $25, and the one with the ball farthest from the pin will also win $25.
Giving children a ‘Reason 2 Smile’
Griffin is on the board of directors for Reason 2 Smile, which is headquartered in Lake Placid. She said the organization is currently funding the education of 300 kids at the Jambo Jipya School, located at the center of Mtwapa, Kenya. The school was started in 2008 by Keela Dates, who is the daughter of Marcellus Athletic Director Brad Dates.
About 50 of the children educated at Jambo Jipya live right at the school.
Griffin said that because it costs $5,000 a month to feed, house and educated the children, Reason 2 Smile’s portion of the proceeds will go toward “their everyday life.”
To learn more about Reason 2 Smile, visit reason2smile.org.