Children’s Fair comes to City Park |

Children’s Fair comes to City Park

Frank Fisher, of the Record staff

On Sunday, June 3, Soaring Wings students, helped by the Soaring Wings Education Foundation will host the 2007 Park City Children’s Fair at City Park, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Money raised will be donated to selected child and environmental oriented funds.

Duna Strachan, of the Director of Soaring Wings Montessori School, started a prototype of the fair in 1987, the school’s first year of operation.

"Pandas and Koalas were losing their habitat. Kids were hungry in Africa," said Strachan. "Children in our school looked sad. I asked them what we could do. One girl raised her hand and said, ‘I know, we’ll send them peanut butter sandwiches.’"

They decided instead on a garage sale. Strachan said they raised $25 the first year. In 1994, the first year the school moved out of Strachan’s home and into the present location, above the city library, the fair took hold, with a community effort raising over $1,000 from the fair and garage sale. Last year the fair raised an all-time high of $6,000.

Many of the 120 Soaring Wings students and their parents will attend, help, have fun and spend money to help others, when they attend the fair next Sunday.

The Soaring Wings criteria for fund recipients includes: "Do we know where our money is going, does our money seem to make a difference, and does this organization make a difference in our school?"

Making a difference in the school requires a symbiotic relationship. Recipients regularly communicate with Soaring Wings students. One girl, Aminata Ka, from Senegal, Africa, is a regular correspondent. Funds she received from the Children’s Fair may have saved her life when she contracted malaria, and was able to receive treatment. She will soon be turning 18. Donations have also helped five children from five continents, who also keep in touch.

Other organizations that have been helped are the Nature Conservancy, Lightning, the Whale, in the International Wildlife Coalition and Koko the Gorilla in the Gorilla foundation. Local organizations include the Park City Library, Kimball Art Center and Recycle Utah, whom the children deliver a check to in person.

At next Sunday’s fair, come rain or shine, parents can check out the items in the rummage sale, listen to live music, and help in concession booths. And for the younger crowd, fair tickets can be purchased for the inflatable obstacle course, games, food, prizes, face-painting and rides. Each ticket costs 50 cents.

In the long-run, Strachan hopes to see many of her students choosing international careers and trying to make a difference in the world. "This is all about giving. Kids get to experience doing something important in the world."

To contribute, volunteer or to gain more information, call Duna Strachan at 640-4858.

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