The costumes were colorful and the chili was hot as members of Oxford-University United Methodist Church gathered for their annual fall festival, Lavinrac on Oct.29.
This year’s Lavinrac (“carnival” spelled backwards) wasn’t just a pre-Halloween carnival. The church raised money for three different charities: the March of Dimes, St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, and the Scott Center, a school for developmentally delayed children located in Oxford.
“We have spent this year teaching our children about giving back, and Lavinrac was just one more way to show them how giving can be fun,” Pat Forrester, director of Children’s Ministries, said. “We want our kids to learn the spiritual value of helping others.”
Through admission fees and a silent auction, the carnival raised more than $1,000 for the three charities.
Mary Beth Mobley, co-chair of the Lavinrac team, believes the fund-raising was a success. “The silent auction was a fun, creative way to raise money. We had several donations that varied from hunting clothing, free tennis lessons and free pizza parties from Papa John’s,” Mobley said.
The carnival was not only for children. Adults participated in the chili cook-off, which was won by Tim Collins. Second place went to Leo Seicshnaydre and Chris Schneider took third place.
“The activities are for the children, but I think the adults enjoy seeing all the kids there and having a good time,” Mobley said. “I want to help instill in our children that God’s work can be done on many different levels. And if we can have a good time while raising money to help others, all the better.”
“It’s important that our children see the adults helping, being involved and participating in their activities. It all goes back to our mission statement, ‘As disciples of Jesus Christ, Oxford-University UMC exists to let people know they matter to God, by showing them they matter to us, so that others will matter to them.’”