ARLINGTON — While the totals are still being counted up, organizers of the 13th annual Kent Prairie Elementary PTA Kiddie Carnival on March 22 have estimated that its silent auction alone has raised at least $3,200.
“That’d put it around the same number as last year, and about $1,000 more than the year prior,” said Stacie Wallace, who co-chaired the auction with Sarah Richardson.
“We’re just thankful for all the support we received,” Richardson said. “There were very few places that actually turned us down when we put out the call for donated items to put up for bid. The school’s classrooms came up with between 25-30 gift baskets by themselves, and the community as a whole donated an additional 65 baskets for us to auction. Just about everyone we went to was willing to help.”
Carnival Chair Kim Hahn explained that proceeds from the evening’s activities, as well as its sales of food and beverages, will go toward PTA-sponsored projects such as new computers, field trips, guest speakers, teacher equipment and safety supplies, among other items.
While Kent Prairie PTA President Kim Meno joined 191 other bidders in vying for the auction items, children such as first-grader Brooklyn Helle and Sebastian Baringer took aim at targets with Nerf crossbows to try and win prizes, and even eighth-graders such as Orion Webb, Abby Roscoe and Andrea Kutsch got into the fun with some rounds of miniature golf in the hallways.
“I like being able to see my friends while we play games together,” said third-grader Aylana Nelson, as she and her mom Liz enjoyed some pizza slices and sodas together in the same cafeteria that served as the site for the bouncy castles and the cake walk. “The troll bridge and the beanbag toss are my favorite games.”
While this marked Aylana Nelson’s fourth carnival at Kent Prairie, Eagle Creek Elementary parent Sandy Shelton and Presidents Elementary parent Virginia Muniz took part in their first Kent Prairie Kiddie Carnival that evening.
“We should be home in our pajamas, but our kids have to win us some cake,” Muniz joked.
“All of Arlington’s PTAs are connected,” Shelton said. “We learn from and support each other. It’s a joy to be here, and I’d be willing to pay a lot more for the privilege.”
“Anything like this that allows the community to get together is a good thing,” said Rob Pilgrim, who brought his daughters Kaelie and Demri, as well as their friend Lauren Warner. “This lets us support our schools and connect with each other.”