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Chautauqua Park will be transformed into a community carnival for the Gage County United Way for three hours on Saturday.

Activities range from a bounce house, games and crafts, popcorn and snow cones and the Beatrice Fire and Rescue and Beatrice Police Departments' vehicles will be on display from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

"We've been doing the carnival for a couple of years, and it's really just to create awareness for the agencies the United Way supports," Amanda Kuhlman, United Way's board of directors president, said. "We have 14 nonprofit agencies right now that we support, and each of those agencies will be represented at the carnival."

Kuhlman said in 2019 United Way allocated roughly $125,000, which is then divided among the organizations.

Those organizations include the Adult and Teen Challenge of the Midlands, Beatrice Mary Family YMCA, Beatrice Pregnancy Resource's Willow Center, Beatrice Special Olympics, Boy Scouts of America's Cornhusker Council, Community Players, Dolly Parton's Imagination Library, Gage County Christmas Wish List, Gage County 4-H, Mosaic in Beatrice, Mother-To-Mother Ministry, Pioneer Foster Grandparents Program, Salvation Army of Beatrice, Teammates Mentoring of Beatrice and Youth Recreation Inc.

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Kuhlman said each agency applies for grant funding, presenting their finances, the need of the community and how many individuals the organization serves.

"Then as a board we make a recommendation as to how much we can fund them," Kuhlman said. "We do kind of hold each organization accountable, as well. They provide quarterly reports to let us know what they're doing with these donated dollars. Keeps them accountable and keeps everybody on track with what they're supposed to be doing."

Admission for the carnival is free, but Kuhlman said food like hot dogs will also be available for purchase.

"Really, the carnival's just an opportunity for kids and families to come out, have a great time and then also bring awareness to what these agencies do," Kuhlman said. "And if these families need resources or assistance at some point, they're a little bit more familiar with those agencies. So it's kind of a dual purpose."

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