Mid-West Youth Services will again “bee” taking over Hamilton’s 110 North East this Sunday for their annual Doll-I-Day fundraising event. This years theme is “Bee” Yourself, and is inviting children to take part in activities with their special doll or stuffed animal.
Mid-West Youth Services Executive Director Ann Hungerford says that they have a lot of activities packed into the event this year.
“It’s really just an opportunity for kids to come out with their special person. It is based off of the American Girl tea party theme, so we have the entire Hamilton’s facility and it’s filled with sugar and activities and games, there is so much for kids to do. We will do games at all of the stations, there are crafts, professional photography, there will be balloon animals, face painting, we are doing a candy bar this year, so much that they may not be able to do everything within the time frame.”
Hungerford says that one very popular booth each year is staffed by volunteers from Passavant Area Hospital,
“A popular concept with the American Girl dolls is that they are forever dolls. If they are in bad shape, such as drawn on with sharpies, or cut hair, or nail polish put on them, you can actually send them back to the American Girl stores and they will put them in like new condition and send that back to you.
We created a doll hospital where girls can come to at the event. The doll and the girl will get matching wristbands, they teach a little about the importance of immunizations,and just promote health and well being. Passavant is always really great and they bring so many things to give out for that booth.”
Mid-West Youth Services is a non-profit organization that serves at risk, runaway and homeless youth in a five county area. They provide 24 hour, 7 day a week crisis intervention, mediation and emergency shelter to vulnerable children.
Hungerford says that the annual Doll-I-Day is their only fund raiser of the year, and that the event helps the organization continue to receive grant funding each year.
“We are 100% funded by state and federal dollars. So aside from the state and federal, we do this one fundraiser. Like many state and federal grants, you are able to take the grant, but you are required to come up with a cash match, that can be up to as much as $25,000 or $30,000. So we utilize this fundraiser to offset those expenses so we are able to continue to receive the grants and bring increased dollars for programming for youth and families in the communities that we cover.”
Hungerford says that many businesses help to sponsor the event with the donations going toward the purchase of more American Girl dolls that are raffled off near the end of the event.
“For every $500.00 sponsor, they are actually sponsoring a doll to be raffled off that day. Right now I believe we have eight additional dolls that will be up for grabs. Those raffles are the only thing that cost money once you are in the door. So if you want to buy raffle tickets, I believe they are a dollar each, if you don’t want to buy raffle tickets, once you have gotten in the door, all the activities are included”
Tickets for the event are $25.00 and can be purchased through Saturday at County Market or the Mid-West Youth Services Office located at 2001 W. Lafayette Ave. in Jacksonville. Doors open at 12:30 pm, and tickets will be available at the door as well.
For more informaiton on Mid-West Youth Services visit their website at http://mys-kids.org/ or check out the “Bee” Yourself event on the Mid-West Youth Services Facebook page.