Most children are happy enough that Memorial Day weekend means the pools open.

Most children are happy enough that Memorial Day weekend means the pools open.

A local fundraiser will make it a weekend to remember, however, by including a visit from a child star.

The Madison's Foundation Kids for Kids Pool Party and Premiere will include food, games, a movie and Nickelodeon 'tween star Roxie Hunter poolside from 7:30 to 11:30 p.m. May 24 at the Plain Township Aquatic Center, 7650 Swickard Woods Blvd., in New Albany.

"There are donations at the gate, and everyone who comes in will get a T-shirt. There will be games, prizes, food," organizer Ron Sykes said. "We'll have hot dogs, chips, candy -- all the stuff that's bad for kids. At 9:30 (p.m.), there will be a (Nickelodeon) movie, and movie star Roxy Hunter will be present to introduce the movie."

Although the entertainment factor of the fundraiser might be obvious, Sykes said it will give attendees a good chance to support rare-disease research. All proceeds will go toward Madison's Foundation and rare-disease research at the Nationwide Children's Hospital.

Sykes said Madison's Foundation was formed after Marcy Smith struggled to get her daughter, Madison, help for a rare disease.

"While (Madison) was not supposed to be with us at the age of 5, she is still with us at the age of 12," Sykes said.

With the aid of a Web site, Madisons Foundation helps parents find information and connect with other families who are living with the same rare disease, Sykes said.

A $15 donation is required to attend the event, but Sykes said children will get another chance to help out. Donations may be collected in person or from pages created through Children's Hospital but must be turned in by May 24.

"We can teach children a little, but about philanthropy," Sykes said.

The top 20 fundraisers will be awarded prizes, which, Sykes said, will come from local donors.

"I can't tell you how generous everyone in the community has been," he said. "Hopefully, this will turn into an event we can have every year."

According to Children's Hospital, about 1,800 tickets still are available, but they're expected to go quickly.

"This should be a fun event," Sykes said. "It kicks off summer."

Tickets for the poolside fundraiser are $15 and will not be sold at the door. Tickets should be purchased through the giving link on nationwidechildrens.org. Tickets will be sold until May 17.

Donations also can be made by sending a check to Nationwide Children's Hospital Foundation, Attn. Madisons Foundation, 700 Children's Drive, Columbus, 43205.

jnoblit@thisweeknews.com