THE Sugar Festival committee is targeting to raise a sum of $20,000 from the week-long pageant that officially opens this Saturday.
Committee president Brijesh Chandra said the festival would start its charity fund again this year.
"We did not have any charity fund last year but we've decided to have it this year and we hope to raise more than $20,000," Mr Chandra said.
"Our nine contestants are already working hard to raise money for the charity fund."
He said the festival had a long history of providing financial assistance to the underprivileged.
"Since 2001, we have been helping and contributing money to families that needed help.
"We have people coming to the festival committee office asking for assistance and it is to these that we offer financial help."
With this year's theme "Building Our Nation Together with Kindness and Sincerity", the festival promises to be another crowd-pleaser.
He said the committee's preparations for the start of the festival this Friday had been completed.
"We expect a bigger and better festival this year compared to previous years.
"We have a lot more activities and entertainment for the people of Lautoka to enjoy."