Muddy Puddles Mess Fest 2015

Muddy Puddles Mess Fest 2015

A few weeks ago I mentioned a local fundraiser to benefit pediatric cancer. The event took place last weekend and, let me tell you, it was absolutely amazing.

First of all, it was enormous. I knew there was a great big list of things promised for the kids (a giant mud pit, splatter paint, a “SLOPSTACLE” course, food fights, water balloons, bounce houses, zip lines, climbing walls and more), but I was completely blown away by the enormity of the event.

Muddy Puddles Mess Fest 2015 at Camp Kiwi

Kiwi Country Day Camp, which hosted the fundraiser along with the Ty Louis Campbell Foundation, has sprawling grounds that are perfect for an event like this one. With a lake, multiple pools, zip lines, and lots of wide open space, it’s a kid’s dream—which was true of the entire day.

Anything that you can think of that a child would love was available to do. There was paddle boating and a beauty tent (where my girls got their nails done, tattoos, and hair extensions). There was a DJ and someone making balloon animals. There was a giant slip and slide, a place to throw pies in your parents’ faces, and a fire truck to rinse everyone off.

The word “amazing” does not do this event justice—and the fact that it’s all for such a great cause makes it even more awesome.

Muddy Puddles Mess Fest bubble fun

Muddy Puddles Mess Fest slopstacle course

Mess Fest slopstacle course

Mess Fest pie in the faceAs we wandered around from activity to activity, I couldn’t help but stop and just stand there, completely awestruck.

The Ty Louis Foundation was started by the parents of a little boy, nicknamed SuperTy because he was such a fighter, who lost his life to brain cancer at just five years old. When he died, Ty’s parents asked the supporters he inspired to celebrate childhood instead of giving gifts or flowers. The Muddy Puddles Project was born from that idea, to celebrate kids being kids in honor of those who can’t because they’re too sick or no longer with us.

The fact that this family took a horrific tragedy and turned it into something so positive for such a large community was truly awe-inspiring. Many people would surrender and bury themselves in their blankets, unsure if they’d ever be able to lift their heads again. But this family has made their tragedy mean something. There is something so incredibly powerful in that.

Muddy Puddles Mess Fest at Camp Kiwi

If you couldn’t make it to the Mess Fest this year, I highly recommend planning on it for next year. In the mean time, you can make donations to the TLC Foundation, purchase a product in their shop, or host a Mess Fest of your own!

Also, be sure to check out the TODAY Show’s coverage of Mess Fest—just be prepared to cry. I did.

Written by Jennifer Garry
Jen is a freelance writer and girl mom from New York. When she's not knee-deep in glittery crafts and girl talk, you can probably find her sprawled across her couch in the middle of a Netflix marathon with dark chocolate smeared on her face. The struggle is real.