KidZone to celebrate Mardi Gras |

KidZone to celebrate Mardi Gras

Photo courtesy of Daphne Hougard Photography/Blase Designs A group of toddlers pose for a photo at the KidZone Museum. The KidZone's annual Mardi Gras fund-raiser is Saturday, April 24.

Staff reports

Even though the KidZone Museum’s annual Mardi Gras fund-raiser isn’t on a Tuesday, party-goers can still expect to find plenty of food, great music and the chance to bid on prizes in the gala’s silent auction and raffles.

This year’s event will take place Saturday at Bar One in Squaw Valley from 5 – 10 p.m., and organizers expect upwards of 200 people to attend.

Food will be provided by some area restaurants including Dragonfly, Moody’s Bistro, Zano’s, OB’s and more, with live music by Bob Mora and the 3rd Degree Blues Band keeping the crowd on their feet.

According to Lauren O’Brien, co-chair of the event and president of the board for the KidZone, each year the gala raises approximately 20 percent of the KidZone’s annual operating budget.

Last year the event raised $22,000, and O’Brien hopes that this year’s event will do even better.

“Just the amount of support this year has been tremendous,” O’Brien said. “People just love the KidZone Museum, and it’s obvious because when we ask for help, everyone gives.”

More than $20,000 worth of prizes will be on the auction block, including a day on a 38-foot yacht on Tahoe, many pieces by local artists, a fiesta night in a showcase home in Truckee for 30 – 50 of the winner’s closest friends, and two vacation packages that include a private plane ride and luxurious accommodations in either Mendocino or Las Vegas.

Approximately 40 volunteers have pooled their talents to put on this year’s Gala, and according to O’Brien, most of the auction and raffle items have been donated by local businesses.

“I think that people have seen how far [the KidZone] has come, and people with young families know how important it is,” O’Brien said. “It’s a hands-on creative play environment that is really important in a town like this.”

Fund-raisers such as the gala are important because they contribute to the daily operating expenses of the nonprofit museum; something that is almost impossible to find grant funding for.

There are 250 tickets available for this year’s event at $30 per ticket in advance (or $35 at the door), and tickets can be purchased at the KidZone Museum. Free baby-sitting will also be available at the KidZone that evening.

The KidZone is located at 11711 Donner Pass Road in Truckee. Call 587-KIDS for more information.

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