A special birthday party hosted by Children’s Palace Preschool will benefit less fortunate children in La Crosse County.

The Wednesday, Aug. 16, event encourages the youngsters enrolled at the three preschool centers to buy a gift they would want for themselves and then donate it to be given to a child who might not have the same opportunities.

“We really wanted a chance to teach our kids that giving feels better then wanting,” said Kim Gorka, preschool owner. “We feel a big part of enhancing a child’s social and emotional development is teaching and modeling good citizenship, being a super friend and caring about our community. It is truly a wonderful feeling to help model the joy of giving to little people as they are learning and growing.”

Gorka pointed out parents tend to give their children the things they want, but the practice too often ends up with the youngsters competing with others in having the best.

“We want an opportunity for the child to feel the joy of giving and strongly believe this is something as caregivers we need to model and teach,” said Gorka.

The child care business started the special birthday party event in 2003 when Children’s Palace first opened.

“My youngest son, whose birthday is in November, suggesting that his party get shared with the other children at daycare,” said Gorka. “He then asked that some of his gifts get donated to a little less fortunate boy he had met. Christian was born premature; so every year on his birthday, we brought flowers to the NICU.”

The annual event evolved into using Gorka’s birth date in August as the time to hold the party, and in 2006, organizers started involving the community a bit more.

“We are asking our community members to help promote the event and encourage the public to donate any birthday presents or party items at any of our locations,” said Kim “This is a great opportunity to help support the less fortunate children in our area.”

The three gift drop-off locations are the Children’s Palace Preschool locations at 525 McHugh Road in Holmen, 134 S. Youlon Street in West Salem and 19443 Eden Drive in Galesville. This year, the gifts will be donated to the homeless community in La Crosse County through the Salvation Army and Couleecap.

“We started off sending our gifts to New Horizons and the last couple of years to the Salvation Army,” said Gorka.

Along with the gift-giving opportunity, the birthday party includes a trip to a local campground Aug. 16.

“Two years ago we started planning our field trip to Whispering Pines Campground as a birthday party celebration so all of our centers could do it together,” said Gorka.

More information about the special birthday party can be obtained by contacting Gorka at ms.kim@childrenspalacepreschool.com or by phoning 608-526-2392 or cell 608-790-1354.


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