BY MICHELLE MILLER
Members of the Cooperstown Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) are encouraging everyone to get out for a day of family-fun on Saturday.
The organization will hold its annual Crayon Carnival & Stroll of Nations form 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Middle/ High School gymnasium.
The event, which has grown throughout the years, will feature inflatable rides, international exhibits and activities, games, music, raffles, a silent auction, a cake walk, and food court.á The Crayon Carnival is the PTO’s biggest fundraiser of the year and according to Co-President Peg Odell, this year’s community event will be bigger than in the past.
Odell said The Stroll of Nations, which was incorporated into the activities last year, will have more to offer. She said there will be nine stations that will represent the countries of Mexico, Zambia, France, Costa Rica, the United Nations, Japan, Taiwan and China.
The country displays are being created by school parents and by volunteers from the Cooperstown Graduate Program.
``I think the fact that students from the Cooperstown Graduate Program are donating their time to create two of the country stations (Japan and Taiwan) is significant,” said Odell. ``It shows how all parts of the community, businesses, non-profit organizations, parents, teachers, administrators, students and community-minded individuals are working together to make this a fun and engaging day, and also a successful fundraiser for the school.”
The addition of the Stroll of Nations has brought a new kind of excitement to an already popular event, said Odell. Duringlast year’s carnival, Kim Jastremski, a member of the PTO, said the Stroll of Nations was her suggestion. She said she heard many people say it would be a good idea to be able to give the fundraiser an educational aspect.
The goal was to passively expose youngsters to other cultures so they wouldn’t even realize it, said Jastremski.
Jastremski said Cooperstown has a number people from different parts of the world. It would be nice to let those people use this event as a forum to teach others about where they come from, she said.
According to Odell, there will be a new bouncy ride, the wrecking ball, along with a bounce house, an 18 -foot slide, a bungee run an obstacle course and a bouncy train just for preschoolers.
Odell said the food court will feature American carnivaltype favorites as well as some international dishes.
``Some community members came last year just to enjoy the international food,” said Odell.
``The galumpkis and Filipino egg rolls were a big hit.’’
Odell said there will be a raffle again this year with gift items and gift certificates for children and adults. There will also be a silent action for two season tickets to the Glimmerglass Opera, she added.
Organizers said the carnival is a fun event for children who look forward to it all year. In addition to providing a day of enjoyment and seeing friends, the Crayon Carnival is a way for the community to join together and raise funds to benefit CCS, said Odell. She said the PTO is very grateful for the 100 volunteers who have donated their time, and the businesses, community organizations and individuals who have donated funds and prizes for the raffle.
BY MICHELLE MILLER
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