Clay Local School’s Parent Teacher Committee (PTC) is preparing for their biggest fundraiser of the year, their annual fall carnival.
“The carnival is our biggest moneymaker for the PTC and a chance for the community to get out and see what we do and how we raise funds for the school,” PTC President Deidra Richardson said. “It is extremely important. We host book fairs, have a Santa’s workshop, but this is really our only event to get cash in for the PTC that involves the parents and community. It is very important for our school.”
The funds from the Clay Local PTC go all throughout the elementary school, whether it is funding fieldtrips or the active AR (accelerated reader) program, where the students are pushed to read more. Annual funds that the PTC set up are the preschoolers’ trip to a Lucasville farm, the kindergartners’ trip to Fuhrmann Orchards and the first, second and third graders’ trip to a play.
Richardson said that the carnival events are almost traditional at the Clay PTC, where the families all know and look forward to the itinerary, “We try to stick to what everyone is going to expect, so we don’t throw in too many new things at one time. We will have door prizes that we have received as donations from local businesses. We also have an auction of larger items that businesses have donated.”
One of the biggest events of the night is the silent auction of the themed baskets that each grade puts together.
“Every year we assign a theme for a grade level and parents donate items to go into that theme. A Christmas themed basket would have donations of decorations, Christmas cookies, whatever it is that is Christmas themed and we make a big basket for the community to come in and bid on.”
Traditional games such as the bag toss, fishing games, pop toss, golf and cake walk will still be present, but Richardson said new games have been added to give the kids something new to look forward to.
Kimberly Prater, PTC parent member, has been helping the fifth grade students plan the annual haunted house and says that it is more than just a haunted house to the kids.
“It’s important because it is something the kids and parents look forward to. It’s kind of a coming of age thing that the students have as they enter fifth grade,” Prater said. “We are going to scare the socks off of everybody that goes through the place. You might find a dark, bloody surprise in the sleepover room, there might be a noisy kind of Jason quality to some of the stuff, maybe a Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde kind of thing.”
The PTC haunted house committee has been meeting twice a week for the past month in preparation to the haunted house. They also surveyed to see what themes might interest the parents and students.
Fifth grade student Ben Boyer is a tough critic and expects only the best from the haunted house.
“I’m hoping to be a scarecrow, because it is different and there’s only going to be about one scarecrow in the whole thing,” Boyer said. “Basically, I’ve been to a lot of haunted houses before and they were all bad. Like, there was this one went to at Boy Scout camp and all they did was scream at you and there was two guys with chainsaws.”
When asked what he would like to do differently from other haunts, Boyer said, “I’d like to actually be a good haunted house.”
“It appeals to everyone,” Richardson said. “We’ve got the games and tattoo table for the little ones, we’ve got the haunted house for the bigger kids and the parents enjoy getting out and seeing people from the community that they don’t see all that often. Although we aren’t a very large community, we can kind of lose track of people and this even brings us back together.”