Heart of the Lakes Elementary School will hold its annual carnival on Friday, April 5 from 4-7 p.m.
The fundraiser, which is in its 11th year, will feature kid-friendly games and activities, food, prizes, silent auctions, a raffle and more.
This is the biggest fundraiser of the year for HOTL. Last year’s carnival raised $27,000.
Past funds have been used for things as varied as technology, the arts, drinking fountains, classroom supplies and book collections. Funds raised through this year’s carnival will be primarily for playground equipment and classroom supplies. The existing playground equipment is more than 20 years old and is showing signs of rust and wear.
“It’s a fun community outing,” said HOTL Principal Kari Yates, adding that even people who don’t have kids that are going to participate in the games can still support the fundraiser by purchasing raffle tickets. “The kids are out right now selling tickets.”
Kids who sell the most raffle tickets have opportunities to win prizes themselves. They can win water park passes to Thumper Pond, for example. Every class that sells 1,200 tickets or more gets to throw a pie in the face of the principal.
New at this year’s carnival will be a fun photo booth where people can get their pictures taken with ‘Buzz,’ the Yellowjacket mascot. The carnival will also feature three huge inflatables, a princess parlor and a tattoo parlor, a wacky hair parlor, minnow races, a cakewalk, Plinko, football, baseball, basketball, bowling, a ‘dinosaur dig’ and a duck pond.
The most popular game of all, the ring toss, will also be back. Players who throw a ring around a liter bottle of pop get to take it home.
In addition to the carnival-style games, there will be a silent auction going on. Every class has put together a themed basket for people to bid on. Local merchants and organizations have donated items, as well, including sporting event tickets, dental and orthodontic packages, office supplies and more.
Food will be served in the cafeteria all evening. The menu will include homemade hot turkey sandwiches, pizza, giant pickles, monster cookies, cotton candy, fruits and vegetables and shakes.
Yates said the carnival is primarily organized and run by a small group of very dedicated parents and staff who work year-round on the event.
The HOTL carnival continues to grow each year, with the proceeds always supporting the kids. For more information, call HOTL at 346-5347.
Lina Belar, For the Focus