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KC Chief Shawn Barber supporting Haiti effort

Former Kansas City Chief and current Chiefs Ambassador Shawn Barber is joining with high school student-led Geaux Haiti to invite the community to a big blow out carnival, Sunday, April 24 from 4-6 p.m., at Colonial Presbyterian Church, Quivira Campus, 12501 W. 137th Street, Overland Park.

All activities, games, entertainment and food are free. Donations are appreciated through contributions and dollar raffle tickets. Raffle items include a hot air balloon ride, concert tickets, Royals tickets, autographed Chiefs items, a private tour of Arrowhead Stadium, gift cards and more. One hundred percent of all proceeds go to educational assistance of Haitian orphans through Parkville, Mo based The Global Orphan Project.

Carnival activities will delight youngsters, teens and adults. Highlights include over 40 carnival games with unlimited play and a prize won every time, Sumo wrestling and giant hamster ball racing from creative carnivals, clowns, a pirate, balloon artist, face painters, caricature artist, and food from Chris Cakes, Twisters Frozen Custard, Blue Chip Cookie Company, Velvet Crème Popcorn, Nothing Bundt Cakes and food coupons from Chick-fil-A.

Last year’s inaugural carnival drew over 100 student and adult volunteers from the community. Geaux Haiti founder and Barstow junior, Grace McGowan says,”I don’t know who had more fun, the volunteers or the participants. The volunteers were eager to hold the carnival again.”

Geaux Haiti already has the volunteer support of the entire Avila University volleyball team, middle school Hurtado scholars supported by Rockhurst High School, and Kohls employees through the Kohls Associates in Action Program.

“Haiti is something I work on year-round,” adds McGowan. “It’s fulfilling to see everyone’s hard work come to fruition.”

In just three years, student-led Geaux Haiti has raised $20,000 through fun events with all of the proceeds going to direct Haitian orphan care. Geaux Haiti teens have collected over 500 jars of peanut butter for orphan nutrition and over 350 used books to start and support libraries in orphan run schools. McGowan has gathered classmates, friends and family and traveled to Haiti each of the past three years with the group personally transporting the donated goods to Haitian orphans.

This summer marks McGowan’s fourth trip to Haiti where she will bring an additional 400 donated books for libraries in orphan run schools. “It’s amazing how I initially went to Haiti to serve the Haitian orphans and how they unexpectedly taught me so much about life and how to live it. It’s an impactful trip that I’ve been fortunate enough to experience year after year. Everyone should experience a trip to Haiti. You will never see things the same way again” said McGowan.