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Carnival time in Detroit Lakes, Frazee

March can sometimes bring a lull in community action as we hit an "in-between" time for sports.

This is why some area organizations choose now to blow up some balloons and fire up their family fundraisers.

The Rossman Elementary PTO is holding their 3rd annual Carnival fundraiser on Saturday, March 19th in the school gym.

Ann Marie Lacher, Rossman PTO President, says this is by far their most successful fundraiser of the year.

"We started holding a Carnival instead of having the kids sell things out of catalogues. They have to do that for so many activities now, so we thought we'd give them a break and do this instead."

And what a break.

Kids can look forward to hitting over 25 game booths, including a cake walk and pop top.

This year high school students from the National Honor Society and the Key Club are running many of the booths so that parents get a break as well.

"We used to have parents run all the games, but doing it this way will free them up to be able to enjoy the day with their children," says Lacher.

Donations are still coming in for the silent auction, which is being held in conjunction with the carnival.

"Last year we had 45 items donated, so we are hoping for around that again," says Lacher.

One big ticket donation is an 8-day, 7-night stay at Cabo Villas Beach Resort at a beachfront unit in Mexico.

"Wouldn't it be nice if someone had a pile of unused airline miles just laying around to donate along with it?" jokes Lacher.

One never knows.

Lacher says the community is great at supporting this event, and the support is seen in the PTO budget.

"Last year we raised about $20,000 off of everything, and that money is then used to help send the kids on field trips or to bring in a special science activity or something different that the students wouldn't otherwise normally experience."

Lacher says the carnival also has some great area business sponsors, whose donations paid for the game prizes, allowing for more PTO profit.

The group will be serving up tacos in a bag, hot dogs, popcorn, and snacks.

The event is open to the public and runs from 11am to 3pm.

To donate to the cause or to find out more information, call Ann Marie Lacher at 844-7322 or Cindy Swanson at 218-844-6498.

A hop across towns will bring you to another carnival the same day.

Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Frazee is also transforming their basement into a place of family fun as they get ready for their eighth annual Family Carnival.

Church members are setting up 26 different games for kids and adults of all ages.

Chairman of the church's daycare advisory committee, Mary Jane Beyer, says their most popular game every year is the cake walk. "We're expecting to get at least 72 cakes donated," she says, referring to the number of cakes they saw last year.

"There aren't many places where you can get a cake for 75 cents, which is what it would cost to play."

Other fun-favorites include the minnow races, the dinosaur dig, and planko.

Kids wanting "wacky hair" are in luck, as carnival workers will also be working the hair and face painting.

Carnival tickets are four for $1, which are used to play individual games.

Money raised will go toward the church's preschool/daycare, which currently has nine kids enrolled.

"We want to use the money for supplies and then hopefully to improve our playground equipment," said Beyer, adding they don't have a goal in mind, but will be happy with whatever they make.

Lunch is $3 (or 12 tickets), and will include a hot dog or sloppy joe, chips, a bar, and lemonade or coffee.

Beyer says she feels a strong family unit is vital to society, and events like this help make that happen.

"So many activities separate family members now because they are in different things, and I think it's just nice for a family to be able to go out and bond together. I think there isn't a lot of opportunity for things like that in society anymore."

The carnival runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, call the Bethlehem Lutheran Church at 218-334-2866.