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03/16/2018

The 16th Annual Carnival at the pier

The Angelic Auxiliary, a fundraising group for Children’s Bureau, hosted the 16th Annual Carnival at the Pier on Sunday, March 4th. At the iconic Pacific park on the Santa Monica Pier, over 700 children and their families enjoyed games, refreshments, raffle drawings, and rides. The event raised over $140,000 net to support Children’s Bureau’s child abuse prevention work.

“We are so proud that all of the funds raised at Carnival at the Pier will go toward helping the many families at Children’s Bureau. Because of the exemplary work the organization does with providing at-risk families with the tools and resources needed to succeed, Children’s Bureau has become a national model of child abuse prevention,” said Allison Massey, President of The Angelic Auxiliary.

The Carnival’s major corporate sponsor was AECOM, with special recognition to Keitha Russell, a personal sponsor who is a longtime supporter of Children’s Bureau. Additional sponsors included Deepthi and Patrick Brown, Marianna and John Linfesty, and Carrie and Peter Tilton at the Crusader level; Mar Vista Investment Partners, Kathy and Greg Outcalt, The Pack Family, Carleen and Bryant Riley, and Claire and Michael Van Konynenburg at the Defender level, and many more.

Pacific Park is the only amusement park on the West Coast that overlooks the ocean from a pier. The colorful park—characterized by a striking visual balance of deep blue, bright pink, and opaque green—absorbs regular sunshine, sea salt, crisp ocean breezes, and tourists, making it a beloved location for the Annual Carnival at the Pier. During this year’s event, hundreds of excited children and families explored the park, participating in raffle contests, hopping on amusement rides, playing games, and eating carnival-style food.

Guests first walking into the park found a table where they could purchase raffle tickets and enter drawings to win an Apple X, Beats Headphones, a Nintendo Switch, and other cool toys and experiences. If a patron felt unlucky, they could make their way to the amusement rides, such as the famous Pacific Wheel, and be lifted over 130 feet in the cool air to see incredible views of one of the world’s most reveled coastlines. If they wanted a more kinetic experience, the West Coaster, the only oceanfront rollercoaster built on a pier, was available to give unlimited rides around the park at 35 miles per hour.

Pacific Park operates fifteen carnival-style games and attractions, all of which children at the private event bounced back and forth from, competing for fun prizes. They shot water guns, whacked taunting moles with foam mallets, popped balloons with bean bags, and tossed basketballs into hoops, hoping to win jumbo-sized stuffed animals. If a child could not make the three shots within a single minute to win a stuffed animal, there were plenty of consolation prizes to go around. Magicians and balloon artists were present to inspire awe and send families home with a souvenir.

After tiring themselves from all the activities underneath the steady sun, families refreshed themselves with nutrient packed drinks generously donated by Positive Beverage. They ate pizza from Fresh Brothers and burgers from Shake Shack, who brought their own grilling equipment and seared fresh patties and fries right on the pier. Sprinkles Cupcakes made a display of delicious cupcakes, which, being a traditional favorite of children, was quickly devoured.

The Carnival at the Pier triumphed as Children’s Bureau’s first major successful fundraiser of the year. Hundreds of guests explored one of California’s premier landmarks, helping to support Children’s Bureau’s mission and kick off a season of giving, laughter, and service.

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