Efforts to fund a permanent shelter for the Abigail’s Arms women’s crisis center continue with the “Cooke County Country Carnival” benefit event, set for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Keneteso Park in Gainesville. The event coordinates with “National Domestic Violence Awareness Month,” which ends July 1. Carnival admission is free, but many of the games will be ticketed at $1. Family-friendly activities will include face painting, a dunking booth, three-legged races, bounce houses and a cake walk — plus live music and balloon animals. The carnival will also offer refreshments such as hamburgers, hot dogs, barbecue, ice cream, popcorn and cotton candy. The event will reportedly have participation from more than 20 churches throughout Cooke County. The objective of the carnival is to help the Abigail’s Arms organization fund a full-size, extended-stay shelter near Highway 82 in Gainesville. The organization’s origins are the early 1980s, when it began as Cooke County Friends of the Family. An official shelter for victims of domestic abuse has never been locally in place, and women in need are often given motel vouchers, or are sent to the Denton County Friends of the Family facility or the Grayson County Crisis Center. And while construction on the Gainesville facility is already well underway, Kim Cook, executive director of Abigail’s Arms, said only roughly $450,000 of the $950,000 budget has been secured. A capital campaign for the new center began in 2009. The facility in development, which is set to measure 9,000 square feet and house 44 women and children at full capacity, will have a staff of seven full-time employees and more than 30 volunteers, with staff available 24 hours a day, every day. Grounds will include client parking, a children’s playground, staff offices, a computer lab, a family room and full client access to the kitchen and dining facilities. For more information about Abigail’s Arms, visit www.abigailsarms.org.