Beachfest Kicks Off For The Kids - - The News for South Mississippi

Beachfest Kicks Off For The Kids

Almost every member of Kelly Ryan's family had their homes damaged or destroyed by hurricane Katrina.  

"Yeah, It's been a rough road," says Ryan.

That holds true for her young son as well.

He had a really hard time but he's real excited," she says. "He been going to school this year, and he's real excited about Psalty."

So there was no way they were going to miss Psalty and Friends, a live animated life size puppet show presented as the opening act of Beachfest.  

"We've lived with so much despair and discouragement and living in a FEMA trailer for a year," says sponsor Steve Wingfield. "A lot of people are still there, and we just felt it was time to have a little party and do some celebrating."

The Steve Wingfield Evangelistic Association adopted Long Beach just days after Katrina struck. Since then they've provided truckloads of food, water, and furniture, as well as a complete modular home and a day care center.  

"But more important than all of that we've averaged about 25 people a week coming down from Virginia to do hands on," says Wingfield. "We started with muck out and now we're in the construction phase."

Beachfest, 3 days of live entertainment featuring county music stars Ricky Scaggs and Randy Travis, and a number of Christian music stars, is their latest gift.  

"We're here to have a party this weekend," says Wingfield. "It's going to be a great time. Good music and good news. That's what it's all about."

For Perry Haley and her son Aden having something to celebrate couldn't have come at a better time.  

"I'm trying to keep their minds off of it you know and keep them happy and do fun things just like this," says Haley. "We have a ball doing this."

And she says having a ball at Beachfest is good for all ages.

by Don Culpepper

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