Girl’s party fights homelessness

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Residents in the New Middletown area gathered Sunday to fight homelessness, all thanks to the idea of an 8-year-old girl.

This is the second year for Olivia’s Backyard Fundraiser. Last summer, the charity event was held in her grandmother’s backyard, but due to the popularity of the event it was moved to Welker Park this year.

Kids from around the community came out and enjoyed a day filled with fun and games including a dunk tank.

“She’s been doing charity work since she was 5,” said Olivia’s father, Steve Helmick. “She started raising money for Akron Children’s Hospital. And when she got too old for the contest, she asked if she could raise money for the homeless.”

“So they have more homes, more toys and bigger rooms and more food,” added Olivia.

Proceeds from the festival will go to the Rescue Mission of the Mahoning Valley.

Olivia’s mom, dad and other family members helped organize the event.

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