Jeff Hauser
Jeff Hauser
February 20, 2013

Organizers of a Christian-based music-and-entertainment festival planned for August 2014 in Carroll hope to raise $200,000 to support adoption services.

REAL Fest is slated for Aug. 1-3, 2014 (the weekend weather experts predict as the least likely of non-winter months next year for rainfall). The event is expected to be hosted at Central Church on U.S. Highway 30 East. Other locations in the Carroll area are being scouted as well, said Jeff Hauser, a member of the church and the lead organizer.

The festival is being developed independently of the church, which is donating the use of the land.

Hauser, 49, of Lohrville, said the festival is organized with Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Bethany Christian Services - which is heavily involved in both domestic and international adoption services

The goal is to attract 15,000 people to the Carroll festival.

"What it's going to say is that Carroll cares," Hauser said.

The name of the festival - REAL - is an acronym for "really affecting another's life."

Hauser, who said he is a born-again Christian, makes the case that faith needs to be put into action.

"We, as Americans, we have huge houses," Hauser said. "We have huge lives."

When the topic of unwanted children is raised, the politics often turns to abortion, Hauser said.

He sees focus on that issue as lacking in productivity - as feeding the political beast, the 24/7 cable talk-show cycles.

"Both sides are profiting from this," Hauser said of the debate on abortion. "You're not any more likely to do this (outlaw abortion) than when we attempted to ban alcohol sales."

So he's looking to raise money to support adoption through Bethany by providing funds to assist families with adoption and foster care of children of all ages.

"This will work because as a Christian I believe this needs to be done," Hauser said.

Adoption is a results-oriented solution to the issue of unwanted children, he said.

"I'm tired of Christians complaining about abortion when they're not willing to accept one of these kids when it's born," Hauser said.

REAL Fest will feature many Christian music groups and speakers but it is not being exclusively billed as a faith-based event.

Organizers expect to need about 400 volunteers.

"I'm less interesting in money than I am in time," Hauser said.

Hauser said he would like to see REAL Fest become an annual event in Carroll, raising money for other causes and works in ensuing years, such as combating homelessness and improving education.

Hauser and his wife, Betty Jo, operate Hands in Motion, an Iowa-based not-for-profit that provides sign-language interpreters for festivals around the nation. The couple have six children, ranging in age from 5 to 25.

REAL Fest organizers are holding an information session at Pizza Ranch in Carroll on Monday beginning at 6 p.m. The dinner is free, but organizers ask that donations be made for the servers at the restaurant. RSVP for the meeting by calling or texting Hauser at (712) 887-0399. You may also email him at