The Lake Ozark Rotary Club announces another successful Candyland event.

The Lake Ozark Rotary Club announces another successful Candyland event.

Candyland, founded in 1984, has served more than 10,000 local children and is an event that promotes generosity during the Christmas season through gift donations for underprivileged children in the lake area.

Candyland was headquartered at the Stonecrest Mall next to Saffee’s. Local residents stopped into Candyland and selected 373 canes representing the Christmas wishes of many deserving children around the lake community. The gifts were then returned to either the YMCA or to Candyland headquarters where they were wrapped and delivered by a team of Rotarians to Osage Upper Elementary, Osage Beach Elementary, Leland Mills Elementary, Eldon South Elementary and Eldon Upper Elementary. The schools then distribute the gifts to the children’s families.

The average value of the gifts was estimated to be around $75 per child translating to over $27,000 in community giving.

Gala of Trees

Once again, Candyland benefited from the support of great local business partners!

Bootleggers and its Gala of Trees has been partners with Candyland since 2009. The Gala of Trees partners with businesses throughout the lake community. Community-minded business bought and decorated trees, which were then auctioned off at Bootleggers.

The Gala was the brainchild of event founder and coordinator Christy Janssen. Clint Ladouceur, Candyland committee member, said “Christy’s tireless dedication to making certain the Gala of Trees is a first class event, is always looking for opportunities to make the event more successful allowing them to give more help children in our community.”

Christy reported record attendance of more than 200 at the opening night party in late November. This allowed JG Gorman and Bootleggers to make a donation of $10,080 to the Lake Ozark Rotary Clubs Candyland event. Gorman, Bootleggers’ owner, said he is grateful for Christy’s efforts and for the support of all the great lake businesses and community members that made this year’s event such a great success!!

Other supporters

•The Lake Ozark Marine Dealers Association continued its commitment to supporting Candyland with another $500 contribution.

•Saffee’s, the long-time women’s clothier located in the Stone Crest Mall, organized a silent auction where the bidders were able to choose a charity. Saffee’s was able to contribute more than $300 to Candyland. •The Bagnell Dam Association of Realtors joined the party this year, donating the proceeds from the silent auction at their Annual Dinner. Kathy Beeler, association president, presented the Lake Ozark Rotary Club and Candyland a check for $2,086.

Chris Colter, Lake Ozark Rotary President elect said, “I am so proud to live and work in such a giving community.”

He said a real special thanks is extended to the Tri-County YMCA and Director Jo Ann Rutherford! Colter said the YMCA always comes though, passing out hundreds of canes, wrapping and delivering the gift packages to Candyland!

Nicole Kever, 2013 Candyland chair, noted that that the impact of Candyland extends well beyond Christmas. This past year the Rotary Club combined Candyland proceeds with the profits from the Greg Gagnon Memorial Golf event, allowing the club to contribute over $25,000 to: YMCA Soccer Program, Greater Lake Area Chorale, Miller County Habitat for Humanity, Boy Scout Troop 232, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Camp Wonderland, Citizens Against Domestic Violence, Hope House, Kid’s Harbor, Lake Area Community Orchestra, Lake Area Helping Hands, Lake Regional Foundation, Woman to Woman, Lake Arts Council, Pregnancy Help Center and Fellowship for Christian Athletes.

Kever also pointed out that in addition to contributing to these community organizations, the Lake Ozark Rotary Club provided $10,000 in scholarships to lake-area students!

Memorial Golf

Rotary will host the Greg Gagnon Memorial Golf Event May 9 at The Oaks Golf Course on Rt. KK.

Chris Colter, 2014 Golf Outing Chair said, “It is our goal to make the Greg Gagnon Memorial Golf event the premier golf outing in the lake area”

For more information on the Lake Ozark Rotary Club, contact Karen Hughes, Rotary Club president, at or Chris Colter, Club President Elect at