ABOVE: A group of girls take a break from dancing with their dads to form a circle and dance together Saturday night at the Father-Daughter Dance at Bethel Evangelical Free Church in Fairmont.

FAIRMONT — On Saturday night, a father-daughter dance was held at Bethel Evangelical Free Church in Fairmont. The dance served as a fundraiser for the Kids Just Want to Have Fun committee of the 1590 Project.

There are seven active members in the group, which formed in 2017.

The group is responsible for several new attractions at Fairmont, including the Five Lakes Center indoor playground at Fairmont, which was installed in 2017. next to the Fairmont water park. The course first opened in 2019 with nine holes and the inauguration of the second nine holes took place in September 2020.

Committee member Kristy Olson said this was the fourth annual dance the group had been hosting and since last year’s was cancelled, they were excited to be able to host it again.

Olson shared that 75 families — more than 200 people — attended the dance. She said it was their biggest appearance to date.

It was $25 for families at the door, but presale tickets were also available at the Martin County Library. Olson said while it was a fundraiser, it was also a donation, so if the families couldn’t pay, they weren’t turning it down.

A meal of pizza, cookies, fruit and other snacks was also offered. Olson said Culligan donated the water, HyVee donated the fruit, and Fareway donated the cookies. She said Bethel also lets them use the space for free.

Those who attended the event took it very seriously and many came dressed in brand-new clothes.

“Some of the guys were wearing three piece suits and ties and it was so fun to see the girls dressed like that. You can tell when they walk through the door with their dad they are so proud and excited,” says Olson.

While dancing was the main attraction, there was also a photo booth, games and glow-in-the-dark tattoos, which Olson says were a big hit with the kids.

“We try to stay local for everything we use”, says Olson.

This included the photo booth and the DJ, which was the Fairmont Opera House.

As for the use of money, Olson said, “We don’t have any major projects underway. We have a few ideas we’ve thought about but aren’t ready to share them yet.

She said other community groups have reached out to them and asked for help and they will be attending the upcoming Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) Family Fun Night.

“Our last two projects were huge, so we’re taking a step back from big projects right now and focusing on our events,” says Olson.

In addition to the father-daughter dance, the group also hosts an annual mother-son event each October, which serves as a fundraiser. Olson said they also have other family events in the works.

She also mentioned the fact that the maintenance of the mini-golf and the indoor play area is necessary. She said they had recently purchased new climbing blocks for the indoor playground after it was vandalized last summer.

The two big projects that the group has done have proven to be both beneficial and popular for the whole community. The indoor play area is often used during the winter months and every summer people come to play mini golf.

“For mini-golf, we had very good feedback from people of all ages. There are people in their 80s who will go out and play,” says Olson.

She said that at this point they were going to keep it as a free activity for the public because they hadn’t had any problems with people walking away with rented equipment.

Anyone interested in joining the Kids Just Want to Have Fun committee, or having ideas for them, can contact them via their Facebook page: Kids Just Want to Have Fun- Project 1590.

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