Monday, July 8, 2013

Kazapalooza 2013 wrap up

Hi there families! I don't know about you but I am having some serious KP withdrawal! This year was so much fun. The planners truly hope that this weekend met your expectations and your family created many memorable moments. We had a wonderful time in Frisco, Texas for this year's Kazapalooza. Over 50 families joined us in celebrating our families and children at the Westin Stonebriar for lots of fun times. This year the planners focused on a theme of CONNECTING.

Friday we were schooled in the Texas Two Step by Karen Kitzman's cousin, Andrew. We celebrated four birthdays this weekend with two delicious cakes graciously donated by Lisa Schultz. The scavenger hunt on Friday night got people talking to each other. It was obvious the kids got a kick out of it. The best part for me was being able to read all the responses once they were turned in for a surprise. It seems everyone met someone new and that's what it is all about.

This year we welcomed Rakhim-Zhan Akhmetov the Consul of Kazakhstan to the U.S. at our event. It was such a great feeling to see the children shake his hand and talk to him at the Saturday luncheon.
It was easy to see that the children appreciated his attendance at our event and the parents took advantage of the opportunity to ask many questions of him. One of which was about post placement reports. Rakhim-Zhan stated that the Kazakhstan government would accept post placement reports at the Embassy if your adoption agency is not open or no longer working in Kazakhstan.

As a group we presented Rakhim-Zhan with an authentic hand made Texas belt buckle. Thanks to Gena and Jaimie Lloyd for finding this local treasure for our guest.

This picture does not include them all but we want to send out a HUGE Texas sized thank you to all of our family volunteers. We could not have done it without you. 

This year our families brought some amazing donations for our raffle and raised over $6,000 for Ark Village! Thank you for your generous hearts. This money will go toward establishing an animal therapy program at the Village and buying more animals to teach the children how to properly care for them and how to use them to earn a living. 

Thanks also to Mae Van Sant and Sara Yeomans for helping with the Sunday morning Coffee and Donut Good bye.

Thanks to everyone for a wonderful weekend. We love seeing you each and every year and missed those of you who could not make it this year. We hope to see you next year!
Love, Karen Kitzman, Kristan Struck, and Gretchen Bilbro

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