LOXLEY, Ala. (WKRG) — So, the Strawberry Festival is a lot of fun, but it is also a fundraiser. Money raised during the festival benefits two of Loxley’s favorite charities, ARC of Baldwin County and Loxley Elementary.

Loxley Elementary principal Gina McClure.

Something “berry” good has been happening at Loxley Elementary as long as there has been a Loxley Strawberry Festival. “All the extra things that come with the regular fundraising of a PTO we are provided for with the funds raised at the Strawberry Festival,” says new principal Gina McClure.

The festival makes sure the almost 500 students who need a little something extra to help educate or celebrate don’t go without. “I think my vision for our students and families are for them to have a place where they not only learn but they feel like they’re part of the family,” says McClure.

Family is also something very important to ARC of Baldwin County. “We provide services to persons who are intellectually and physically disabled.” Executive Director Kathy Fleet is in her 38th year of providing help to a population in Baldwin County that needs 24/7 assistance and care.

“We have 97 children, youth and adults that we’re are providing residential support and assistance to them so they can have a home to live in,” says Fleet.

They provide transportation, food, housing, and socialization activities. With 200 employees there is never enough time or money. Seventy-five percent of their funding comes from Medicaid. The Strawberry Festival helps make up that other 25 percent. “They have to have the assistance that our staff is able to provide them,” says Fleet, and if that help comes with strawberries and a little whip cream on top, even better.