Children skipped around with newly-won goldfish while parents mused over silent auction items at the annual Family Fun Fest at Sparta’s Appleview Elementary. This day of clowns, carnival games, raffles, and laughter filled the school’s gymnasium. The festival with area families was part of the Appleview and Ridgeview elementary school’s spring fundraising initiative to raise $20,000.
“Our motto is ‘Making a Positive Difference’,” explained Kristi Armock, Sparta’s Parent Teacher Committee (PTC) special event coordinator. Armock, who is a mother of three students attending Sparta Schools, is very involved with the school PTC, which puts on the festival. “We do this so all of our students at Sparta can have a great experience and more opportunities in elementary school,” she said.
Fun Games, Serious Goals
The festival is a great excuse to let loose and wear balloons or face paint for a day, but its benefits resonate with many families throughout the school year. The majority of the funds raised pay for field trips and assemblies at the school. It also assists the Reading is Fundamental program, which sends two books home with students before summer.
Armock said some families can’t afford to buy books for their home. “We don’t want to keep asking parents for money to fund events and trips when some can’t afford it,” she said. Funds were collected through ticket sales purchased to play games, an extensive silent auction and a raffle for an iPad mini.
Meanwhile children run around shooting hoops, dunking teachers and volunteers in the dunk tank and winning goldfish. “I’m giving one of my fish to a girl I got in a fight with as an apology gift,” said student Kylee Wagner while grinning and showing off her fish. “The others I’m taking home.”
PTC volunteer Kristin Bradford said the large event was coordinated by just 20 PTC volunteers and that it was fun to see 600 community members of all ages come together to have fun and support a good cause. “All of the money goes back to the schools, anything that will help the kids.”