Carnival benefits charity, woman needing kidney
LITHIA - A Christmas carnival complete with games, crafts, pizza and Santa will help benefit needy children and a FishHawk woman in need of a kidney transplant. Busciglio Smiles, a local orthodontic practice that opened in FishHawk in September and has served the Brandon community for more than 40 years, is hosting the event. The practice held a fundraiser during its first month in FishHawk that raised $2,500 for the Newsome High marching band. The event was so successful that the staff decided to do another fundraiser, said Katie Busciglio, director of community outreach. "This time, we're actually partnering with Sidekicks Family Martial Arts, which is in the same plaza as us," she said.The carnival is Dec. 15 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the office, located at 16321 FishHawk Blvd., across from the FishHawk Sports Complex. The event will include a disc jockey, free Formaggio's pizza, games, crafts and a train ride for the younger visitors. Guests are asked to each bring an unwrapped children's toy that will go to Gifts of Hope, a charity set up by 11 area churches and the Emergency Care Help Organization to provide holiday meals and children's gifts for Christmas. The carnival also will raise money for Devon Carver, who is suffering from renal failure and needs a transplant. Busciglio learned about Carver through the Friends of FishHawk Foundation Facebook page and wanted to help. During the carnival, guests can have their photo taken with Santa for $5. Also, TNT Smoothies will be sold during the carnival. Profits from both will go to the Carver family. Busciglio Smiles is also putting braces on Carver's son at no cost because the family is in serious financial straits, Busciglio said. "She's already had one kidney transplant that didn't take, and she needs another," said Kelly Rowjohn, who heads the FishHawk foundation. "Her health is failing very rapidly." Carver's medical bills are piling up and many people in the community have stepped up to help the Carver family, including the Busciglios, Rowjohn said. "If we could do this twice a year — two carnivals or big events to benefit the community somehow — that's what we hope to do," Busciglio said. It's all about helping to reach out to the community and provide a fun time, all at once, she said.
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