COPPERAS COVE — The Ladies Auxiliary of VFW Post 8577 pulled out all the stops this year for its annual fall festival to raise money for their holiday charities.

Donations collected through raffle tickets, food, games and a live auction will go directly to the children’s Christmas party and for Thanksgiving and Christmas baskets for needy families, said event chair Juanita Workman.

“Rather than just putting in a donation and not doing anything, this (festival) gets our name out to the community and people can come in and have a good time.”

The Military Order of the Cootie worked with the Ladies Auxiliary to sponsor and organize the event.

Carnival games, cake walks with dozens of desserts and a children’s costume contest rounded out the family fun event.

Kacey Chenoweth said the festival has a long-standing history in her family.

“We’ve been coming here for the last 12 years, ever since I was little,” Chenoweth said. “We love to come as a family to hang out and enjoy it.”

A room adjacent to the festival location was set up for the children’s carnival, where Howard Trevathan and his daughter, Holly, 4, played together.

“This event gives a sense of community and togetherness,” Trevathan said.

The Ladies Auxiliary hosts several events each year to benefit youths and community-based programs, but the fall festival is one of the biggest money makers, President Karen Kaylor said.

“It can always be bigger but it’s been pretty successful and it helps us keep working,” she said.“All of the money we make we put right back into the community.”

The festival is expected to bring in at least $1,000 this year, Kaylor said.

Cove resident Debra Smart, an avid supporter, said helping those in need is imperative because many people can’t do it on their own.

“I remember one time they bought shoes for the kids and I thought that was great,” she said.

“It’s all about bringing it in so that we can give it back out.”

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