All ages crowded the grounds outside of the Hotchkiss K-8 school Friday afternoon, April 5, from babies in strollers, toddlers trying out their wobbly steps on the grass, grade-school kids checking out the booths with their friends, and parents and grandparents trying to keep up with their charges. The weather was cooperatively early-spring warm (until the sun hid behind the late afternoon clouds).
Debbie Trimball, the school secretary, said that it was the school's main fundraiser and that it has been growing in popularity since they started it six years ago. The offerings were completely kid-centric and there were plenty of activities to keep the crowd occupied. A food booth was organized by the student council and national honor society, providing pulled pork sandwiches and sno cones. Games included a flamingo ring-toss, a bean bag throw, putt-putt golf, a cake walk and karaoke. Enthusiastic teachers and parents managed the activities.
Eighth graders constructed marble mazes.built of cardboard, paper, duct tape and random household articles, fitted together to create Rube Goldberg inspired constructions that allowed for the ingenious passage of marbles. The marbles took crazy, channeled routes from start to finish. The use of simple materials to engineer the mazes was creative and functional.
The silent auction boosted some enviable prizes. The auction items were all donated by local businesses and individuals. Bounteous gift baskets of food, gardening tools, camping equipment, toiletries and car maintenance necessities were on offer. An extravaganza consisting of a Hotchkiss fire truck showing up at a birthday party was one of the auction items! What kid wouldn't love that?
The crowd really warmed to the spectacle of the school principal, Mr. Hollembeak, showing his country roots by crooning a ballad with the charming assistance of teachers, Mrs. Peebles and Mrs. Haight. That is to say, they killed it! The educators showed some impressive pipes and the spectators were energetically appreciative.
The event really showcased small-town, family-involved, low-tech enjoyment for all ages and put parents, teachers, and community together for a most enjoyable evening of wholesome fun.