Leightley family

A MAY 27 FIRE DESTROYED the rental home of Gary Leightley (right), Elizabeth Kennedy (left, back) and daughter Desiree in Widnoon. A benefit festival for the family is planned this weekend and next at Widnoon Soft Serve.

WIDNOON – A festival over the next two weekends in Widnoon will benefit a local family that lost nearly everything in a recent house fire.

Lynda Pozzuto, owner of Widnoon Soft Serve, said that mechanical carnival rides, inflatables, games and, of course, ice cream will be featured at the June 14-16 and 20-23 festival at the ice cream shop to benefit the Kennedy/Leightley family whose house burned on May 27.

“After the fire, we knew we wanted help that family out,” Pozzuto said, noting that Gary Lightly, Elizabeth Kennedy and daughter, Desiree, lived next door to the ice cream shop and were great customers. “We’re their neighbor and wanted to do something.”

Pozzuto said that she reached out to a relative of the family to begin organizing the fundraiser. She said that since they lost their rental home, and they did not have rental insurance, the family is now staying with other family members until they can find a place of their own.

While many items of clothing have been donated to the family so far, Pozzuto said the family will be in need of household items once they get their own house. In the meantime, she said, the benefit will help the family out with something they can use.

“You can’t go wrong with cash,” she said, noting that a portion of the proceeds from the Trowver Ride Company ticket sales, as well as from ice cream sales, will benefit the Kennedy/Leightley family. Donation cans will also be on site to help out the family

“We’d like to raise a couple thousand dollars,” Pozzuto said. “We hope we get a good turnout.”

The festival will be held this weekend, Friday through Sunday, June 14-16, from noon to 9 p.m. daily, and again next weekend, Thursday through Sunday, June 20-23, from noon to 9 p.m.

Widnoon Soft Service is located at 911 Mahoning Road, Templeton.

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