Charity makes toys for underprivileged children, prepares for fundraising gala

ST. GEORGE—The 12th annual fundraising gala for the Happy Factory, a nonprofit organization that makes high quality toys for underprivileged children around the world, is scheduled for Nov. 13, at 6 p.m. in the ballroom of the Sharwan Smith Center, 351 West University Boulevard, in Cedar City. It is the fourth gala since the passing of Happy Factory’s co-founder Charles Cooley.

Southern Utah University and the Cedar City Rotary Club are, once again, sponsors of the gala. The Larry H. Miller Megaplex Theatres will join the Happy Factory Gala family this year. For every ticket you purchase to the Gala you will receive a free movie ticket for a movie of your choice.

Happy Factory is a nonprofit charitable organization, founded by Charles and Donna Cooley. To date, the organization has shipped well over 1.2 million toys in the form of small cars and trucks. There are no paid positions at the Happy Factory. Time, materials, boxes, shipping, and almost everything needed to build a toy is donated to the Happy Factory, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a huge need to raise funds. It takes a substantial amount of funds every year to keep the Happy Factory going. The Happy Factory also makes steam shovels for the developmentally disabled.  The cars and steam shovels are not toys, but tools that can stimulate a child’s mind allowing them to think, become creative, and cope with the world around them.

The more than 1 million toys have been delivered to more than 125 countries: to schools, hospitals, family shelters, churches, foundations, and many humanitarian organizations.  Anyone can deliver toys during their travels.  Many local people have carried toys to children in need.  Many of these children never owned a toy or had anything else of their own before the gift of a Happy Factory toy.

You can assist in continuing the mission of the Happy Factory by attending the Gala, sponsoring part of the evening, and/or contributing an auction item.  You may also bring your skills to the Happy Factory and help make the little wooden cars that are filled with love.  The annual Gala is always an excellent event, reminding us that we are truly blessed and giving us the ability reach out to help others, especially the children of the world.  Many of the volunteers who donate time and talent will be in attendance.  Take the time to discover how you can become a part of the Happy Factory family.

Tickets to the Gala are $50 each or $400 for a table of eight and include the free movie tickets. Tickets to the Gala can be purchased by calling 435-586-8352 or visiting the Happy Factory located at 896 N 2175 West Circle in Cedar City.

Auction Items will be sold in silent auction formats. Do you have an item or service you would like to contribute? Your generosity will be much appreciated. All local businesses and individuals that would like to contribute an auction item are encouraged to put something together and drop it off at the Happy Factory. These items are essential to the success of the Gala.

Sponsorship levels for the evening are as follows:

  • Dinner Sponsor | $2,500 | Sponsors will receive eight tickets to the gala, special recognition at the Gala and will treasure the blessing that comes from sharing.  This contribution will cover many of the expenses of the evening to allow more of the evening’s contributions to go directly to the manufacture of the toys. They will also receive a matched set of cars and a steam shovel.
  • Steam Shovel Sponsors | $1,500 | Sponsors will receive eight tickets to the Gala, recognition at the Gala, one steam shovel, and will understand the joy of being a benefactor to the Happy Factory allowing the creation of over 3,000 new toys.
  • Matched Car Set Sponsors | $1,000 | Sponsors will receive eight tickets for the Gala, recognition at the Gala, one matched set of toy cars, and will feel gratitude for allowing the making of over 2,000 new toys for children. Southern Utah University and the Rotary Club are sponsors at this level.
  • Auction Sponsors | $750 | Sponsors will receive four tickets to the Gala, recognition at the Gala and experience the joy of creating over 1500 new toys for children.
  • Table Sponsors | $400 | Sponsors will receive eight tickets to the Gala, and know the peace of participating in sending cars all over the world and the creation of 800 new toys for children.

The organization thanks all who consider the Happy Factory as a beneficiary of their time, effort and hard-earned money. People may also wish to volunteer to work at the Happy Factory.  You can make a child’s life brighter in many ways.

Event details and resources

  • What: 12th Annual Fundraising Gala for the Happy Factory
  • When: Thursday, Nov. 13, at 6 p.m.
  • Where: Ballroom, Sharwan Smith Center, 351 West University Boulevard, Cedar City, Utah.
  • Tickets: $50 each or $400 for a table of eight. Tickets can be purchased by calling 435-586-8352 or visiting the Happy Factory located at 896 N 2175 West Circle, Cedar City, Utah.
  • For more information: Call 435-586-8352 or visit the Happy Factory website.

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