This past weekend 115 families from all over the U.S. and Canada with a total of over 400 people attended our 8th annual Kazapalooza. It is always so exciting to see so many faces full of happiness and joy in getting together with other Kaz families.
For the third year we welcomed a representative of the Kazakhstan government to our event. The Consul General of the Republic of Kazakhstan in New York, Raushan Esbulatova attended with her son, Ryan. We spoke about the possibility of working together next year to celebrate Kazakhstan's 25th Anniversary.
Friday night's pool party was hot but fun. Families enjoyed dinner around the pool as kids played and met each other while cooling off in the water. Donations for our raffle were dropped off and families picked up their goody bags and KP shirts. Volunteers gathered in our meeting room to group raffle baskets and organize the raffle for the following day. We would like to thank everyone that volunteered to make this year so special. We truly could not have this event without our generous families and their help.
Saturday, families gathered for lunch where we showed the slideshow of photos submitted prior to the event. Tanner Struck created a beautiful video to showcase our families and brought tears to the eyes of many in attendance. He does such a great job and works so hard for weeks to put this together for all of us. Thanks Tanner!
We sang Happy Birthday to all those attending that had birthdays within two weeks of the event and celebrated with cake and cookies.
This was the first year that volunteers created a table of goodies for kids to purchase for $1 to raise money for our charity. The kid's table brought in over $500!! Great job Kaz kids! A special thanks to Jaimie Lloyd who made all the bracelets for the table. They were a hit!
Our charity this year was J127 Ranch. Located in Taraz they work to find ways to improve the lives of their community and children. They look for ways to help others by providing child care, meals and medical assistance to those in need. Between the kid's table, our raffle tickets, and Victoria's table of items for sale from Kazakhstan over $16,000 was raised this weekend by our families for their cause! This money will go toward the purchase of their home.
Saturday afternoon many families met in small groups according to their child's region in Kaz. Many were appreciative of the time to meet others from the same region.
Sunday we met again to say good bye and exchange contact information in order to stay connected throughout the year. The Planners hope that by attending KP families can get to know others in order to create bonds that carry over throughout the year and not just at KP.
We had a wonderful time and hope that our families did as well. Next year we are trying to plan our event for out west. We are currently in talks with a resort in Colorado but will know more in the coming weeks. Once we have signed a contract with the hotel we will be able to announce the location more specifically. Please be patient with us as we plan. So much work is done behind the scenes all year long. We are already trying to plan 2017 too! That will be our 10th KP and we are very much looking forward to it!
|Parents trying to get pictures of all the kids together. Can you say paparazzi?|
|These families have attended all 8 Kazapalooza events!|
|Families and Planners welcomed Consul General of the Republic of Kazakhstan in New York Raushan Esbulatova.|
|Smores on Sunday night|
|Thank you to all the families that volunteered and helped through the weekend. We couldn't do it without you!|
|One of our many wonderful donations for the raffle|
|We celebrated birthdays at KP too!|
|Families from all over the U.S and Canada attended.|
|Planners of KP are Gretchen Bilbro, Karen Kitzman and Kristan Struck|
|All of our beautiful children gathered in one place!|