KIDZMANIA — a fun, family adventure

On Saturday Linking Families and Communities and the Fort Dodge Community Foundation and United Way will host “KIDZMANIA” – a fun Saturday, filled with free activities for children and families. KIDZMANIA will be held inside the Crossroads Mall from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. KIDZMANIA is free for all to attend.

Many local organizations will participate and provide fun things for children to do. Inflatables, games for children, crafts, face-painting, Mad Science and the Iowa State University Insect Zoo, miniature golf, spin art, a giant “Connect Four” game, are some of the hands-on activities for children. The friendly and outgoing Clifford, the Big Red Dog, will be at KIDZMANIA for hugs and handshakes as well, so bring a camera.

There will also be stage performances to entertain the entire family.

10 a.m. – Fort Dodge Senior High cheer squad

10:30 a.m. – The magic of Larry Dunbar

11:30 a.m. – Martial arts demonstrations and performances

12:30 p.m. – Lisa Laird, ventriloquist

1 p.m. – Iowa Central Community College’s award-winning dance team

1:30 p.m. – St. Edmond High School cheer squad

2 p.m. – Storytelling by Mike Zahm

Both Linking Families and Communities and the Fort Dodge Community Foundation and United Way partner with numerous nonprofit organizations in the region. Many of these organizations will have booths with free activities for children. Our intent is to showcase organizations and let the public know all the services they provide that help strengthen youth and families, and in doing so, our communities. Exhibitors that will provide activities for children at KIDZMANIA include will include:

Active Health Chiropractic,

Blanden Memorial Art Museum,


Calhoun County Public Health,

Child Care Resource and Referral,

Children and Families of Iowa,

Community and Family Resources,

Community Health Center,

Fort Dodge Community Foundation and United Way,

Fort Dodge Fire Department,

Fort Frenzy,

Kemna Auto of Fort Dodge,

Iowa State University Extension,

It Gets Better Fort Dodge,

Mid-Sioux Opportunity Inc.,

The Rec,

Twin Lakes Bible Camp,

United Healthcare,

UnityPoint Clinic Pediatrics,

UnityPoint Health – Trinity Regional Medical Center,

Webster County Health Department,

Y.O.U.R. Head Start and

Youth Shelter Care of North Central Iowa

Linking Families and Communities is a nonprofit organization dedicated to young children, prenatal to age 5 years, and their families, whose purpose is to empower parents in raising happy, healthy children by providing families with education and support through programs and coordinating community resources. It serves children and families in Calhoun, Pocahontas and Webster counties and is dedicated to building secure and nurturing families, child care environments and communities in which children can grow and thrive.

The Fort Dodge Community Foundation and United Way supports a coalition of organizations and agencies that focus on helping youth reach their full potential academically, socially and developmentally. It does this to help our youths become productive and successful young adults and future citizens, employees, parents and business and community leaders. Our YouthNet initiative is dedicated to ensuring the best possible future for our youths by promoting positive choices and behaviors and helping youths get access to available services and resources so they have a greater opportunity to achieve their full potential and have a fair chance at pursuing their goals and dreams.

By leading a coalition of organizations, agencies, services and programs, we hope to build a synergistic network that effectively connects youths to opportunities that will provide them with the chance to grow and develop in a positive and healthy way; and in doing so, help them create a future full of hope.

KIDZMANIA will give families lots of fun, free things to do on a Saturday just after the start of the new school year. Parents can learn about many resources available in our community to help raise successful children and to have strong families.

KIDSMANIA will serve as the kickoff for the 2013-2014 United Way campaign. The Fort Dodge Community Foundation and United Way is focused on improving quality of life for all citizens and youths. This past year, the Fort Dodge Community Foundation and United Way supported 23 area agencies and organizations that work with youth and families. On Saturday, KIDSMANIA will give kids and families a lot of free, fun-filled activities and events at the Crossroads Mall. Come out and enjoy this one-of-a-kind family-fun adventure.

For more information, please contact Elizabeth Stanek at 955-5437 or be email at or Amy Bruno at 573-3180 or by email at

Elizabeth Stanek is executive director of Linking Families and Communities.

Amy Bruno is programs coordinator at the Fort Dodge Community Foundation and United Way.