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Clarendon Hills Family Farm Fest offers fun for a good cause

Getting up close to live farm animals is one of the attractions at the Aug. 3 Family Farm Fest at Church of the Holy Nativity in Clarendon Hills. | Photo courtesy of Church of the Holy Nativity
Clarendon Hills, 08/06/11--Flemish Giant rabbits were some of the more popular animals for children to touch and pet. Church of the Holy Nativity hosted a Family Farm Fest on Saturday to help raise money for Heifer International. | Jon Langham~for Sun-Times Media

CLARENDON HILLS, Ill. — The parking lot of the Church of the Holy Nativity will be transformed into a suburban farm for an April 3 fundraiser.

This will be the seventh consecutive year in which the church, 275 S. Richmond Ave., will host its Family Farm Fest from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. the first Saturday in August.

Along with providing the opportunity for families to get up close to, and learn about, a variety of live farm animals, the event also raises money for, and awareness about, Heifer International.

Heifer International is a worldwide nonprofit organization started in 1944 with a goal of ending poverty and hunger in a sustainable fashion. Established in 1944, the organization gives out gifts of livestock, seeds and trees to those in need around the globe along with extensive training.

“It’s an outreach program for the church and a great opportunity to raise money for a very important cause while at the same time having a wonderful time doing it,” said Mary Lu Connally, a coordinator of Family Farm Fest. “Some children never really have the opportunity to see animals up close like this.”

Live farm animals, such as llamas, goats, chicks, rabbits and a donkey will be on display. Children and adults are invited to visit various animal booths to learn about the way each animal can change the life of an impoverished family.

Connally said 70 church volunteers have helped to make Family Farm Fest a reality in 2013. There is no admission fee; money is raised mainly through donations, but also through raffles, cakewalks, and the 25 cents charged for children’s games.

The event attracted about 400 visitors and raised $21,000 in 2012. A total of $117,000 has been raised during the six-year run of Family Farm Fest, Connally said.

“I have so many people tell me how much fun they have, and they like to come back every year,” she said.

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