The Lake Placid not-for-profit organization Reason 2 Smile is hosting an its annual all-day cultural music festival with workshops, a children’s camp, and an evening performance on March 5 at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts.
According to Reason 2 Smile Executive Director Donna Rosenblum, the one-day event will be presented in the same format as previous years. A morning Kids Camp, ages 6-12, will introduce Kenyan games, crafts, African drumming and dance; younger children (ages 5 and under) are welcome to attend with an adult. The morning and afternoon adult workshops (ages 13 years and older) focus on art, music and dance with various activities from Native American Storytelling and Didgeridoo making, to Irish Step Dancing.
Rosenblum says, “There will also be a free workshop about Reason 2 Smile, for anyone not knowing about our organization. In the evening the dancers will be there to perform. We will also be creating a building out of paper bricks in the lobby of the LPCA, near the Kenyan goods shop. For $1, kids can write their own ‘reason to smile’ on one of the bricks and build something out of everyone’s reason to smile.”
After the morning workshops are complete the Lake Placid Center for the Arts lobby will be set up with fresh food from Green Goddess as well as face painting, a children’s art project and the Kenyan Market Place shop.
The funds raised during the festival directly benefit Reason 2 Smile whose mission is to positively impact others through educational initiatives for children globally and provide service to organizations in developing countries that provide education, food, clothing, and healthcare to orphaned and at-risk children. Currently the organization funds 23 orphan children in a separate children’s home while providing an education to 230-240 students at the Kenyan Jambo Jipya School.
“The importance of teaching children about Reason 2 Smile is that we need to think about everyone in the world,” says Rosenblum. “It is wonderful to also be community driven, though focusing on one area shouldn’t exclude the other. The money we raise within our grassroots organization goes right to the school. The children can see how the money raised will immediately impact these other children.”
Rosenblum says, “An elementary school in Merrick [NY] saw a picture of the couch being used at the children’s home. They raised money through a Kids Act of Kindness Campaign and wanted to use that money to buy a new couch. I was able to buy it, take a picture and send it to their teacher. The children here were so happy seeing that new couch. That piece is very important, that connection to kindness.”
The Reason 2 Smile World Music Festival takes place on March 5 from 10:30 am-9:30 pm with workshops, children’s activities, a dinner and evening performance concert. The morning Kids Camp is $12, the morning/afternoon workshops are $8/class, while the evening concert is $12/adults, $10/students and free/children (5 and under). Enjoy!
Photo of the Burlington Taiko group provided by Reason 2 Smile.