Katy nonprofits to hold Midsummer Festival Katy to help meet growing community needs

By R. Hans Miller, News Editor
Posted 7/14/21

Executive Director of Christ Clinic Katy said she and her peers at five additional nonprofits throughout the Katy area are excited to host Midsummer Festival Katy at CrossPoint Community Church at …

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Katy nonprofits to hold Midsummer Festival Katy to help meet growing community needs

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Executive Director of Christ Clinic Katy Lara Hamilton said she and her peers at five additional nonprofits throughout the Katy area are excited to host Midsummer Festival Katy at CrossPoint Community Church at 700 Westgreen Blvd. in Katy on Saturday, July 17 from 2-10 p.m. Proceeds from the carnival will be used to support the work each of the nonprofits do for the Katy community, she and her fellow humanitarians said.

“It’s a way to bring people together to celebrate our community,” Hamilton said. “Kind of a party coming out of COVID.”

While Hamilton acknowledged that the pandemic isn’t entirely over, she said the community has been through a lot and the trials of the last year and a half have increased the needs of the community. Midsummer Fest will help the nonprofits meet the needs of their clients while allowing attendees a chance to have some fun with live music, a country fair, vendor booths, food from local restaurants and food trucks as well as a family-friendly atmosphere to allow people to relax while supporting nonprofits that work to support members of the Katy area community, she said.

Tickets are $10 for general admission or $100 for a VIP package for four. Parking is available at Taylor High School for $20 per vehicle if prepaid. Tickets are available at https://bit.ly/3yZXz5m which also provides an opportunity for those interested to donate to the local charities.

Live entertainment at the rain or shine event will be provided by Led Zepagain, a Led Zeppelin that she said Jimmy Page – guitarist for Led Zeppelin – has called the closes thing to the original band since Zeppelin itself. Crystal Torres, a Tejano singer out of San Antonio, will perform Saturday as well. Midnight Express, a classic rock cover band out of Bryan, Tex. will also perform for the event.

Additional entertainment will be provided by carnival games, a kids zone, sporting contests and pop-up artists performing throughout the carnival, said Kathy Alt, executive director for The Ballard House. The finale for the event will be a fireworks show.

The Midsummer Festival Katy event is replacing the Katy Color Run, said Hope Impacts Founder Tina Hatcher. Hatcher said the festival would help the nonprofits’ fundraising efforts be accessible to more people, especially with growing needs in the community. Hatcher said Hope Impacts, which assists those experiencing homelessness, has seen three new clients in just the last week that have been forced to live out of their cars due to fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“One of our goals with this event was to reach out to a different crowd that doesn’t usually participate (in events like runs), just by providing an event that is enjoyable for them with their families but also happens to be for a good cause,” Hamilton said.

Jon Davis of The Pregnancy Help Center of West Houston said the needs of the community have increased over the last year and he anticipates an increased need for his organization’s clients as the year moves forward and new legislation limiting abortion becomes law later this year. Even before the law becomes effective, he said The Pregnancy Help Center sees about 3,000 clients per year that need help.

“We provide counseling, education, free pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, mentoring, supports, Bible study – even post-abortion care,” Davis said. “So (fundraising through Midsummer Festival Katy will) allow us to continue to see those 3,000 clients, and we’re close to seeing almost 1,000 new pregnancies this year.”

Alt said the work at The Ballard House has not stopped, even during the pandemic. Her organization provides a free place to stay for those traveling to the Katy area for the treatment of a life-threatening illness such as cancer.

“We’ve offered free lodging for more than 60,000 nights and never closed down during Covid,” Alt said.

Hamilton said Christ Clinic’s workload has increased and clients’ ability to donate to help cover the cost of medicine, staffing and supplies has been greatly reduced.

“We do an average of 15,000 visits a year and 75% of our patients lost their jobs or had a significant decrease in income due to the pandemic,” Hamilton said.

Jennifer Hart of Compassion Katy said her organization is preparing for Operation Back 2 School, a school supply drive that provides brand new backpacks for children who qualify for free or reduced-price lunches. Katy ISD has 18 Title I schools wherein at least 40% of students qualify for food assistance and in the district’s Title I schools, about 70% or more of the students qualify for those programs, she said.

Katy Christian Ministries Executive Director Deysi Crespo said her organization has seen an increased need as well. KCM, which provides counseling, financial aid, crisis intervention and other services to the community, has fought the same problems in the community for the past 37 years, she said. In 2020, KCM distributed about 1.7 million pounds of food and provided about 34,000 hours of counseling across the organization. Midsummer Festival Katy is about addressing the needs of the community while at the same time helping the community heal from the stresses of the pandemic, she said.

“The issues that were happening 37 years ago are still prevalent today,” Crespo said. “With nonprofits joining forces, it’s definitely a benefit for the community to also see that we’re on this journey together. Connecting with the community – like (Hamilton) said, it’s a way of coming out of Covid, to just rejoice even in the midst of chaos, even in the midst of crisis.”  

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