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posted: 2/18/2014 2:38 PM

Fun Fair in Hoffman Estates to benefit Haitian Community

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Submitted by Bright Hope

Join Bright Hope, a local nonprofit organization, for a family-friendly Fun Fair at the Prairie Stone Sports and Wellness Center in Hoffman Estates from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 22.

Proceeds from the event will support Bright Hope's JELLY program in continuing holistic transformation in Beganabe, Haiti, to set it on the path toward self-sustainability.

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Admission is free for adults and $10 per child for up to three children; each additional child is free. Families will be charged no more than $30. Tickets provide unlimited access to all activities including games, a climbing wall and crafts.

"You don't need to travel abroad to change a life or a community in extreme poverty. Transformation is possible right here in the Chicago area," said C.H. Dyer, Bright Hope's president and chief executive officer. "Not only will lives be impacted in this Haitian community, but the hearts of those who participate will be too."

The Fun Fair aims to reach a fundraising goal of $2,500 through admission, marketplace sales, snack sales, raffle tickets and general donations. All funds raised will benefit Beganabe's church-school and its two teachers. The 150 children from kindergarten to fifth grade will attend the completed school and receive a nutritious meal every day. Additionally, local produce grown by Haitian families enrolled in Bright Hope's microloan program will be added to their meals.

"It is our hope that in this long winter when we are all struggling for creative things to do, our community would come out and help make a difference while having fun," said Dyer.

Games and activities will include: carnival-style games like table bowling, giant plinko and mini golf; a pond with the opportunity to take home a fish; a balloon artist; face painting and tattoos; crafts such as making friendship bracelets for you and a friend or for a child in Haiti; a water walk relay; a market walk using baskets on the head; a photo booth; and a marketplace to browse handcrafted items. Local families are volunteering their time by planning the fair, advertising, serving and running the activities and games.

JELLY is a program that began in fall 2012, with 60 local families supporting Beganabe, Haiti, through fundraising and other means. These families have helped transform two shipping containers into a workable church-school to bring hope through education, microloans and job training for this village stuck in extreme poverty.

A preschool has started and is operating with two teachers. This church-school is the first in the 3,000 person community. JELLY will provide two years of support after which the program should be self-sustainable thanks to local businesses born from the microloan program. To learn more about Bright Hope's JELLY program please visit www.BrightHope.org/jelly.

Bright Hope's mission is to bring Hope to those living on less than $1 a day. Bright Hope envisions a world where under-resourced local, in-country churches transform their communities and bring Hope to the extreme poor. To learn more about Bright Hope, visit www.BrightHope.org.

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