Children, parents and teachers filled the busy courtyard and enjoyed food, carnival rides, games at the annual Fall Festival Oct. 26 at Grace Miller Elementary School in La Verne.
Members of Grace Miller Elementary School Parent Teacher Association worked together to sponsor the event so families and friends could enjoy quality time together while generating support for the school.
“Our goal is to make sure that the kids and parents both have fun,” PTA Vice President of Marketing Aileen Barrett said.
Although the Grace Miller Elementary School Fall Festival has been successful for many years, the PTA strives to make improvements each year.
“There are a few PTA members that went to other fall festival events and they gave us an input how to improve our event,” Barrett said.
Earlier in the week, Grace Miller crowned a king and queen for the Fall Festival.
The names of all fifth graders were put into a hat, and two names were drawn at random.
The Bonita High School marching band also made an appearance for the first time in the festival’s history. They paraded down Holly Oak Street while the king and queen rode with the principal in a top-down convertible car.
“The parents have been putting more work into it making it a whole community event,” parent Kenny Licata said. “It’s grown a lot in the past couple years too.”
A DJ played a mix of several different songs including “Monster Mash” and the “Addams Family Theme Song” to set the tone for the event.
Every 15 minutes, he would make an announcement for people to bid on the silent auction.
The PTA put together several gift baskets for the silent auction. Community members bid on the prizes until the end of the festival. The prize that caught everyone’s attention was a family pack of tickets to Disneyland.
Children lined up eagerly with tickets in hand ready to spin in circles on the Tilt-a-Whirl and take a whirl on the carousel.
“I love the kids, people and interaction. It’s a fun event for a family environment,” Danny Trujillo, a La Verne resident, said.
Each booth was decorated with orange and black in the spirit of Halloween.
The booths included games such as ring toss, balloon darts and ping pong toss. Volunteers from PTA sold candy apples, kettle corn, hot dogs and pizza.
“I like Fall Festival because it’s a chance for me to spend time with all my friends,” fifth grader Tiffany Ortuno said.
People used tickets, instead of cash, to play or purchase items at each booth.
The vendors either donated a portion of their proceeds to the school or charged a flat rate and allowed the school to keep the profits.
“My favorite part is that we’re raising money for our school and other things we can do like field trips,” fifth grader Kayleigh Delaney said.
Although the Fall Festival is a community event and not intended as strictly a fundraiser, the school expected to raise some money that grade levels generate to go to field trips.
“Although we don’t have the final numbers yet, we should be able to provide $10 per student to go to field trips plus meet our additional target of $1,500,” Barrett said.
Children entered the school’s Halloween costume contest and won prizes for the best costume.
The contest was separated into categories, awarding the most creative and most unusual costumes.
The PTA worked hard to advertise more beyond the city of La Verne.
“We want to make sure that other communities know about Grace Miller,” Barrett said.
Alyssa Navarro can be reached at email@example.com.