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PTA raises money with Fall Festival

November 02, 2004|by Alicia Notarianni

alician@herald-mail.com

The leaves weren't the only thing changing colors at the Hancock Elementary School Fall Festival on Saturday, Oct. 30. Many students' hair was as well. Hair painting was just one of many brands of entertainment offered by the PTA in an effort to raise money for a lighted bulletin-style sign for the front of the school.

Shannon McKinley, 30, of Hancock, president of the Hancock Elementary School PTA, said both parents and teachers have been wishing for such a sign - which will cost about $5,000 - for several years.

"It's something we'd all like to see. We'd change it according to whatever's going on at school. It's important for communication," McKinley said.

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McKinley, whose children - Hunter, 9, and Emmaleigh, 5 - are students at Hancock Elementary, came up with the idea for the school's first-ever Fall Festival. She said her goal was to raise money by offering something for everyone.

Lorie Faith of Hancock, treasurer of the Hancock Elementary School PTA, said about 100 people attended the event, which netted approximately $1,600.

Young attendees sprung across the school's rolling green grounds playing games such as Gourd Toss, Pick a Pumpkin and Pin the Nose on the Pumpkin. Smokers' Roulette - a game of chance that taught youngsters the consequences of cigarette smoking - kept students lined up waiting for a turn throughout the morning. When the roulette wheel landed on spaces labeled with penalties such as asthma and lung cancer, the spinner lost. Non-smoking spaces, however, yielded prizes.

Jonathan Younker, 9, a fourth grader at Hancock Elementary, said Smokers' Roulette was his favorite game at the festival.

"I landed on a non-smoker space so I won," Younker said, as he pocketed his plastic harmonica reward.

Jenna Mentzer, 8, of Hancock, spent time with her father, Brad Mentzer, while her mother, Misty, volunteered her services for the event.

Jenna successfully deconstructed a tower of cans in a game of Knock It Down and chose a "Girls Rule" pencil as her prize.

Adult patrons shopped at vendor booths and browsed community resource displays before heading into the gymnasium at 11:30 a.m. for a live auction. Tim Smith, a professional auctioneer from Smith's Auction in Hancock, donated his services.

"They called me, so I said I'd help them out. You gotta support your community," Smith said.

Numerous businesses in the Washington County area contributed auction items, including gift certificates to restaurants and video stores and family passes to recreational and educational attractions.

In addition, the PTA assigned themes such as Chocolate Lovers, School Supplies and Car Care to each grade at Hancock Elementary School. Students in each grade took related items to school, creating themed baskets to be auctioned off.

Dana Dennison of Nanjemoy, Md., took home one of the most popular stacks of goodies - the Snow Day Basket - which included board games, videotapes, books, playing cards, peanuts, popcorn and hot chocolate.

Dennison said her family was in town because her husband was turkey hunting. Dana and her son, Mark Dennison, 5, were riding around looking for something to do when they happened upon the festival.

"I just saw the sign and drove up," Dennison said. "This has been wonderful."

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