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Student group hosts carnival for children with life-threatening illnesses

Jennifer Jung / Lantern reporter

The heat of midday was not enough to keep eager children away from the first ever Be A Kid Again Carnival, Saturday on the Oval.
Co-hosted by A Kid Again Ohio State and Dollars 4 Change, the event ran for four hours and gave children a chance to play, eat and win prizes.

A Kid Again is an organization that provides “adventures” to children who have life-threatening illnesses. The recently-formed A Kid Again Ohio State helps the Greater Columbus chapter of the organization by volunteering for other events and hospital visits.

Kathy Derr, a resident of Columbus and the director of programs and volunteers, said she does not offer much assistance to the OSU club.

“They know what they’re doing,” she said. “(They’re) pretty independent.”

Muskan Gupta, a second-year in microbiology and president of A Kid Again, said the club has been planning this event since February.

“The budget total was $2,670, divided between our two groups accounts,” said Zeshawn Qadir, the committee leader for the event. “A few members from each student organization invested their own money to provide us with the initial funds that will be reimbursed in the near future.”

Peter Worley, a second-year in mechanical engineering and co-president of Dollars 4 Change, said the collaboration between the two groups came easily since they share the same philosophy,

“We initiated the collaboration but they initiated the carnival concept,” Worley said. “It was great working with another group. We held joint committee meetings every week for about two months and really bonded throughout the planning process.”

The volunteers manned the carnival games, which included throwing rings over bottles, knocking over cans with a ball and throwing water balloons into tic-tac-toe squares. Kids could earn tickets at each event, which could be turned in to receive donated stuffed animals, w. The event also featured a face-painting booth, an inflatable “hamster ball,” cornhole and a snack station.

The volunteers said they wanted to ensure the children had a good time.

Although attendees did not have to register, about 500 people registered for the event, Gupta said.

Ketan Agashi, a fourth-year in biology and psychology, said he considered the carnival a success.

“This is a little bit more than we expected,” he said. “[It’s a] really good turnout for our first event.”

Along with the various games, there were several performances throughout the afternoon. Off the Lake Productions, a magician named Drew Murray, a second-year in arts and technology, OSU Men’s Glee Club, the Statesmen – an OSU men’s singing group – and the dance club B-Boy Club all performed.

Though the carnival was for the children involved with A Kid Again, some OSU students joined in the festivities. Since the carnival took place during Sibs and Kids weekend, it was listed on the schedule of planned activities.

At the end of the event, Angie Onorato, a second-year in molecular genetics and the secretary of A Kid Again Ohio State, said the group is trying to make the carnival an annual event. Any donations received during the carnival will go to the Greater Columbus chapter of A Kid Again.

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