Ninth Annual Taunton Family Festival raising money for home

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WEWAHITCHKA, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - The Ninth Annual Taunton Family Festival welcomed many to step into a day at the children's home in Wewahitchka.

"It's our only fundraiser that we do during the year, it also gives people a chance to come see what we do, to see the facilities and to meet some of the kids," said Co-Founder and President of the Taunton Family Children's Home, Abigail Taunton.

There was no shortage of fun for visitors.

"We have something called the Amazing Race, and we play beach volleyball, lots of food fun, and for the whole family," said Taunton.

For some children in need of a family, this event helps get the word out that there's a home waiting for them.

"It's an opportunity to interact with the public so that if they have a child, know of a child that needs help, they can come and talk with us about that child," said Taunton.

"It serves multiple purposes, one it's a reunion for the children that have grown up here. It also acts as something for the community to come and enjoy this beautiful piece of property. Lastly, it serves as a fundraiser so the children's home has an operating budget of about $200,000 a year and this helps with that," said volunteer from Lynn Haven United Methodist Church Brian Baber.

Those who attend say it's something to be proud of.

"It's a privilege to be here, supporting them and helping them out," said event participant Tabitha Hampton.

After Hurricane Michael, the support is needed more than ever.

"There's quite a few more kids that have come to the children's home after the storm because someone's home is disrupted or they've lost a home," said Baber.

Extra children is something the home is ready to help with.

"If they're college bound, we help them get through college. If they're trade school bound we help with that. Treat them just like they're ours. We don't get them out the door at 18, we try to make sure that they have a good foothold on life when they leave here," said Taunton.

"There's been hundreds of children that have come up through the children's home, but there have been thousands of lives touched through the Taunton family," said Baber.

The event expected to raise around $30,000.

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