Nathaniel’s Hope to return for 17th Annual “Make ‘m Smile” Festival


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The 17th Annual Make ‘m Smile festival will be held June 1 at Lake Eola, hosted by Nathaniel’s Hope to celebrate VIP Kids and their families. COURTESY OF NATHANIEL'S HOPE

The 17th Annual Make ‘m Smile festival will be held June 1 at Lake Eola, hosted by Nathaniel’s Hope to celebrate VIP Kids and their families. COURTESY OF NATHANIEL’S HOPE

Celebrating kids with disabilities and their families is the goal for Nathaniel’s Hope founders Marie and Tim Kuck. Nathaniel’s Hope is a non-profit that aims to celebrate kids with special needs and help communities and churches organize programs for them. They organized the first Make ‘m Smile event in 2002 after realizing the challenges of raising their own special needs child Nathaniel Timothy Kuck.

On June 1 from 7:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., over 40,000 attendees will participate in the “Biggest Party on the Planet” around Lake Eola.

“We’re very excited to once again celebrate our VIP Kids and make this year’s party the very best ever for them,” said Nathaniel’s Hope co-founder Marie Kuck in a press release. “We expect to host about 3000 kids and their families, with the goal to provide plenty of fun opportunities to make ‘m smile.”

In addition to the VIP Kids ad their families, over 500 volunteers will participate in a ‘Friendship Stroll’ around the lake.

More than 120 vendors will be on site, along with stage performances, the new Nathaniel character and popular theme park characters.

The community is invited to take part in the event which will offer food and hundreds of family-fun games, activities and exhibits. There is a $5 charge for public admission.

“Make ‘m Smile is truly a major community partnership and we welcome all to join us and/or to volunteer and be actively engaged in the festivities,” said Marie Kuck.

For information or to volunteer for the Make ‘m Smile event, visit www.NathanielsHope.org/our-programs/ make-m-smile or call (407) 857- 8224.

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