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Kause to celebrate

After only four months of fundraising, Kate’s Kause has already collected about one quarter of the money necessary for an accessible playground in Elmira.

The foundation has raised $40,000 for the playground, and for Kelly and Jeremy Meissner, the hard work has been well worth it.

Kate’s Kause is a charitable foundation named after the Meissners’ 20-month-old daughter, Kate, who was diagnosed with Angelman Syndrome last summer. People with AS, or “Angels” as they are sometimes called, can have little or no verbal skills, poor gross and fine motor skills, and possible seizure and sleep disorders.

RALLYING AROUND THE KAUSE Twenty-month old Kate Meissner is the driving force behind Kate’s Kause, a charitable foundation started by her parents Kelly and Jeremy to raise funds to build an accessible playground in Woolwich. Having raised $40,000 already, next month they are holding a benefit dance at Lions Hall to raise more for the $150,000 project.

“I’ve just recently gone back to work part-time, but in the fall I was at home with the kids (Kate and three-year-old son Jamieson) and once the kids went to bed that was my job, and I’ve worked pretty hard at it,” said Kelly.

Kate’s Kause is holding another fundraiser, this time a benefit dance on Mar. 5 from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. at the Lions Hall in Elmira. Tickets are $10 in advance or $15 at the door, and there will be draws for great prizes, including a grand prize which is a week’s accommodation at the Hilton Grand Vacation Club in Las Vegas.

The prize is a donation from Meissner’s cousin, who owns a timeshare in the building and has donated one of her weeks for the cause. Anyone who might be interested in participating in the draw but cannot make it to the dance that evening can simply drop off their ticket with their name and contact information, and they can still be entered in the draw.

Since Kate’s diagnosis, the Meissners have held a silent auction which helped raise over $11,000, and they also received a $10,000 donation from the Ballsillie Family Foundation, not to mention multiple donations from the public as well.

The family also held a Christmas chocolate drive with Purdy’s Chocolates, and Meissner’s sister-in-law Karen, who is the owner of Green Apple Photography, made custom Christmas cards for the holidays, which raised another $2,500.

They are also organizing a golf tournament this summer tentatively scheduled for June 12, and a scrapbooking event in Cambridge on April 17.

The family originally hoped to raise about $250,000 for the playground, but after some discussions with construction experts they decided that they would only need about $150,000 to build the play park.

“We’re well on our way. It seems achievable now, that’s for sure. We can get there.”

Tickets for the Kate’s Kause Benefit are available by visiting www.kateskause.com, or by phone at (519) 669-9125.

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