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Fat Tuesday Parade supports community in multiple ways
SUQUAMISH — Non-profits of Kitsap County have a chance to use their creativity to raise money for their 501(c)3 organization.
The Fat Tuesday Parade of Service, sponsored by Clearwater Casino, occurs every year with more than 20 organizations competing for their share of $15,000. The event isn’t until March 4, but non-profits have from now to Oct. 31 to register for a chance to partake in this float-building competition. Entry forms are available on Clearwater’s website, www.clearwatercasino.com.
Entrants must be headquartered in or have a participating chapter in Kitsap County and have 501(c)3 designation. A limited number of participants will be randomly selected by an automated number generator. They will receive a red wagon from Clearwater Casino on which to build their float. On Feb. 4, the nonprofits will put their floats on display inside the casino to give the community and club members a month to vote for their favorite float. The float with the most votes gets five extra points added to the overall score that they receive from a panel of judges comprised of Clearwater employees.
Cash prizes will be awarded to the top three floats based on Mardi Gras Theme, Originality, and Execution. First place is $3,000, second is $2,000, third is $1,000 and the other non-profits each receive $500 for participating.
In February 2013, the Kitsap Navigators (Guide Dog Puppy Raising Club) received first place, winning $3,000 to benefit their non-profit. Their puppies come from California when they are 8-12 weeks old. Volunteers socialize the puppies by having them in their homes for a year, bringing them through traffic, cities, offices and stores to get them used to the noises. After a year with a puppy raiser, the puppy goes to the Guide Dogs for the Blind for professional training and then matched to a blind partner.
As a group of volunteers who spend their free time raising puppies, being part of the Clearwater Fat Tuesday Parade of Service was a chance to show their dedication to this cause.
“Our puppy raising club was excited to be chosen to participate in the parade,” puppy raiser Linda Prosser said. “Once we received the little red wagon, we began assembling the float with small stuffed puppies, glitzy beads, streamers and masks. After hard work and lots of imagination, it was a wonderful surprise to be announced the first place winner.”
The Kitsap Navigators used their winnings for supplies, travel for presentations, and business cards.
“The Fat Tuesday Parade of Service has become an annual tradition of fun and giving,” General Manager Rich Purser said. “As we like to help as many local non-profits as possible, we strive to have as many organizations participate as possible.”
For more information about the Fat Tuesday Parade of Service, contact Lisa Rodriguez, 360-598-8731 or firstname.lastname@example.org