AHS senior successfully organizes Harvest Party

Kids dive in to dig out candy at the Harvest Partys haystack scramble. -
Kids dive in to dig out candy at the Harvest Partys haystack scramble.
— image credit:

ARLINGTON The third-annual Harvest Party at
J. Rudy York Memorial Park at Smokey Point, Oct. 13, was memorable not only for its arts and crafts, cookie-frosting and other Halloween-themed activities, but also for the fact that it was the second such event to be organized by a student at Arlington High School.
Nicole Minic was casting about for a senior project when Wendy Pattermann, a physical education teacher at AHS who recently retired as a volunteer commissioner for the city of Arlingtons Parks and Recreation Department, suggested that she take on the task of putting together the Harvest Party.
Pattermann connected Minic with Sarah Hegge, coordinator for the Parks and Recreation Department, and watched as Minic used her budget of $300 from the city to order items ranging from pumpkins and prizes to food and decorations.
Minic, in turn, credited donations by local businesses with helping her stay within her budget, while also thanking Pattermann and Hegge for providing input through a series of e-mails and meetings.
I never realized how much work it would be, Minic said. It kind of crept up on me.
Minic included activities ranging from modified, autumn-themed versions of horse basketball, croquet, Frisbee and badminton to a haystack scramble, in which kids dove in to dig out candy.
I started brainstorming by thinking of activities that I liked as a kid, Minic said. Then I asked moms I knew what their kids liked to do and went to the Puyallup Fair and saw some of the things they had there, like pumpkin hopscotch. I had to offer things for a variety of different ages, so I kept the rules simple, but I altered them for older kids so they wouldnt feel like they were playing baby games.
Minic and Pattermann were both pleased by the days turnout, since Minic admitted shed only planned for 50 attendees, but had already received 43 within the first half-hour.
Its neat to see each senior take it upon themselves to come up with something new, Pattermann said. Nicole really stepped up to the plate.
Becky Rodriguez took her grandson, 8-year-old Matthew Ramirez, to the Harvest Party for the first time this year and found herself surprised by how much it had to offer.
I didnt expect nearly as many booths, said Rodriguez, as Ramirez played badminton bash, by trying to knock birdies through hula-hoops. They really help you out at the beginning, too, by signing you in and telling you what there is to do. Its been a beautiful day and it was well worth the wait.
Tisha Bray has been bringing her daughter Kelsey, now 4 years old, to the Harvest Party for the past three years, ever since it started and she remained as pleased as ever with the event.
They should definitely continue it, said Bray, while her daughter smeared frosting on both her cookie and her face. Its very entertaining for the kids, the little ones especially, and the teens have done a great job of setting it up. Its a good project for them.
Curt Kazen brought his family to the Harvest Party for the second time this year and confessed to some selfish reasons for enjoying the event.
The activities are a lot of fun for the kids, Kazen said. It lets them run around until theyre exhausted, so they can burn off their excess energy.
While Kazens son preferred the haystack scramble, 10-year-olds Dante Perot and Rachel Taylor joined Brays daughter in deeming the cookie-frosting to be their favorite activity. Perot, who wore a child-sized police hat and vest, and Taylor, who was wrapped up as a Tootsie Roll, were among the few who attended the event in costume.
The best part was seeing the kids get excited, Minic said. When they saw that they could decorate cookies and play basketball, their faces just lit up.

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