THE COMMERCIAL APPEAL
Sunday, July 10, 2011 | Memphis, TN | MY LIFE/Greater Memphis
FOCUS │ FAITH
Carnival celebration Face-painting fun drops in on Grizzlies Center
BY ANNE CHAMBERS Special to The Commercial Appeal
Carnival’s three C’s — commerce, community and celebration — were personified as Carnival Memphis King John Hull Dobbs Jr. and Queen Kate Orgill Smith, along with the infamous Boll Weevils, Carnival executives and members of the grand krewes surprised the youth at Memphis Athletic Ministries’ Grizzlies Center with an afternoon visit during Carnival Week in early June.
MAM boys and girls were alerted to the arrival of the Carnival’s “traveling circus” by sirens from the motorcycles of the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office escort service. And once the king and queen made their entrance into the gym, the children quickly delighted in the occasion, gathering around the royalty and the Boll Weevils.
The fun began with the Carnival guests playing basketball with the children, followed by each child receiving a royal hat to commemorate the day. But all children agreed that the most fun activity was getting their faces painted to look scary, beautiful or just plain funny-looking.
In addition to all of the frivolity, MAM enjoyed another benefit from Carnival Memphis. MAM was one of the three charities chosen to receive a donation as part of the Carnival’s Children’s Charity Initiative.
The Children’s Charity Initiative is dedicated to assisting non-profit agencies that serve the needs of children. This year, more than $180,000 was raised, with the help of matching funds, to assist the 2011 Children’s Charities of Carnival: Hope House, an organization that works to improve the lives of HIV-affected children and their families; Shelby Residential and Vocational Services, a service provider for people with disabilities; and Memphis Athletic Ministries, an organization that uses organized sports to share and model Christ to urban, at-risk young people, as well as foster unity among diverse segments of the community.