Amigos for Christ to put on music festival

SUWANEE -- The Lovin' Spoonful will headline an event this week to benefit a Buford nonprofit organization that works for clean water in Nicaragua.

Amigos for Christ is putting on an all-day music festival in Town Center Park with several local church bands, and which culminates with The Lovin' Spoonful at 7:30 p.m. This is the ninth year of the festival, and the seventh year it's been in Suwanee. Mary Mastro Giovanni, community outreach coordinator for the organization, said the goal of the fundraiser is to pay for 25 miles of water pipe in Nicaragua.

Giovanni said festival-goers will be shown the impact clean water has on Nicaraguans.

"Once it's turned on, the look of delight on all the faces is captured on video, and we'll be showing that on the big screen," Giovanni said.

Along with the bands, the event will have inflatables, food vendors and art and education displays, all leading up to the 1960s pop rock band.

"We want a real wholesome draw that families would feel comfortable coming to, and possibly have name recognition," Giovanni said of choosing The Lovin' Spoonful. "It's a good mix of music for music lovers to come and hang out. Every event itself could stand alone. Once people participate, we want to make it inviting to stay."

In Nicaragua, Gionvanni said the organization has 80 people working on water projects, and missionaries from Gwinnett help dig water pipes. The festival serves as a reunion of sorts for those people who have been to Central American country and share stories of their experience, Giovanni said.

The focus of Amigos for Christ's work in Nicaragua is building homes, providing health and educational programs tailored around clean water, Giovanni said. That helps the general health of Nicaraguans, and also gives animals a better chance of surviving.

"When we invest in clean water programs, that really is a better life for poor people," Giovanni said.