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Valpo’s Fun Fest raises money for animal shelter

Mom April Arends Valparaiso helps daughter Libi 2 play fishing game Sunday Kids Power Fun Fest Porter County Animal Shelter

Mom April Arends of Valparaiso helps daughter Libi, 2, play a fishing game Sunday at the Kids Power Fun Fest at the Porter County Animal Shelter while son Cayden, 7, looks on. | Post-Tribune

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Updated: November 8, 2013 6:25AM



VALPARAISO — While a planned pie fight fell flat because not enough people signed up, there was all sorts of fun to be had during Sunday’s Fun Fest, sponsored by Kids Power to raise money for the Porter County Animal Shelter.

Pony rides, games, a princess contest, face painting, a bouncy and other activities took place on the shelter grounds, at 2056 Heavlin Road.

In the past year and a half, Kids Power has raised $15,000 for the animal shelter. Organizers hoped more than 300 people would come out.

Kids Power is kid-driven, and Kyla Sinkiewicz, 13, of Valparaiso, put together the Fun Fest this year and last, when it made its debut.

“It draws more attention to the shelter, and there’s dogs out (in kennels). Maybe someone will adopt some, or put in application for them,” Kyla said. “The dogs, they’ve probably been through a lot so it’s good to help them get out of that and get them a new family.”

During last year’s Fun Fest, visitors adopted six cats and three dogs, which shelter director Jon Thomas said was “huge.” He hoped for similar numbers again this year, and said one of the advantages of having the festival at the shelter was the opportunity to find more homes for the shelter’s dogs and cats.

The shelter has 40 dogs and 100 cats now.

“(Fun Fest) raises money for us, and I think the kids get very excited when they know they’re doing that,” he said.

Beth O’Halek and her three kids, ages 3, 5 and 7, stopped to take a look – but only a look — at the dogs in the outdoor kennels.

“We talk about the animal shelter every time we drive by, so this was an opportunity to come by,” the Valparaiso mom said, adding her kids had played some of the games and gone on the pony rides.

“We wanted to see what dogs were outside,” she said, adding they weren’t interested in adopting. “Nope, not today.”

For more on Kids Power, go to www.kidspowerportercounty.org; information on the shelter is at www.portercoanimalshelter.com. Both also are on Facebook.



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