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St. Ignatius chamber gives out $4,000 in prizes at holiday carnival

ST. IGNATIUS – Aodhan Umphrey, 8, ran around the annual St. Ignatius Christmas Carnival on Saturday to several booths where he decorated a cookie, fished for candy and tossed a beanbag into a cup. 

He said he was having a lot of fun but he was also looking forward to getting one of the hundreds of prizes set up on several tables. Last year, he won a ball that answered questions about the future after it was shaken, although it couldn’t tell him what he was going to win this year.

Every year for the past 14 years, the St. Ignatius Chamber of Commerce collects donations from local businesses to buy prizes for people of all ages including home décor and toys. People put their names on a ticket at the door to sign up for the free drawing. 

“We’ve got about $4,000 in prizes this year,” said Janis Heffern, one of the event coordinators. She added that local businesses also provided all of the carnival booths including face painting and a dessert walk. 

This year, more prizes were donated than in any year in the past and the coordinators were excited to give them away to the public.

“The chamber does this to give back to the community and say ‘thank you’ for your support,” Heffern said.

She said it creates a cycle when people shop at local businesses. 

“When people shop locally, that business is able to give back to the community, and again, the support is appreciated.” 

The carnival continued for a few hours with Christmas music in the background. Santa Claus was even on hand to hear a few Christmas wishes. And Aodhan, he went home with a game called a “Barrel of Monkeys.” 

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