Sulphur Bluff PTO hopes to raise scholarship money at Friday carnival

By FAITH HUFFMAN, News-Telegram News Editor

Oct. 16, 2008 - Sulphur Bluff Parent Teacher Organization Friday offers tons of family fun and entertainment for the entire community at the annual Sulphur Bluff Halloween Carnival. Teachers, parents, students and school groups all get in on the act.

The Family, Career and Community Leaders of America club will be holding a snack shop, offering a variety of treats which range in price from $0.50 up to $2. Among the offerings will be popcorn balls, caramel corn, Rice Krispies treats, brownies, drinkss and many other tasty goodies.

The sophomore class will be hosting a cake walk. Various parents and class members have committed to donating cakes for the event, but the group still has room for a few more goodies. Anyone interested in baking and donating a cake for the walk can contact the school Friday morning.

The Halloween Carnival will start at 5:30 p.m. Friday at the school with serving of stew. No tickets are being pre-sold this year for the stew, but can be purchased at the carnival. All ingredients for the stew have been donated, and extra is being made so those attending are encouraged to come with an appetite. PTO President Mandy Sharp noted that Pilgrim's?Pride is also covering half the cost of meat for the stew. Anyone interested in donating a dessert item for the meal can bring them to the school or contact Sharp at 903-335-0481, to arrange to have one picked up.

A number of local businesses from the Hopkins County and Mount Vernon communities, including Sulphur Springs banks, John Wayne air conditioner company, doctor's offices in Mount Pleasant, have all made monetary or other donations. A large portion of the donated money will go toward a $1,000 pre-paid Visa card, which Guaranty Bond Bank will load at no charge for the PTO to raffle.

As of midweek, the PTO was about $300 short on donations to cover the cost. Businesses or individuals interested in making a monetary donation so the PTO won't be out the remaining cost of the Visa card may do so by calling Sharp or calling the school Friday morning. Parents are donating 30 minutes to an hour each to man the stew pot, and will receive a free meal.

Also to being raffled this year is a 26-inch Cobalt 3-drawer tool chest donated by Lowe's. Tickets for chances to win the $1,000 pre-paid Visa card or the tool chest can be purchased for $1 a chance from any elementary students or at the carnival. Raffles will be drawn at 8:30 p.m. Friday. The winner does not have to be present to receive the prize.

The game booths will open at 6 p.m. Games usually take 1-4 tickets depending on the type and prizes. There will be multiple game booths and fun things for kids to enjoy including the traditional Halloween haunted house and bounce house, and lots of other displays and activities prepared by the various classes and groups at the school including a hay maze.

Game tickets can be purchased for 50-cents each at the door or 25 for $10, a savings of about 10-cents per ticket or $2.50 overall. Students who have not already done so may also purchase tickets at school Friday at a discounted rate as well. Be sure to remember, however, that Friday is an early release date at Sulphur Bluff School, so students will have less time during the day to procure tickets at school.

Last year, the big hits were the bounce house and a train ride which pulled children with a trailer around barrels, Sharp noted.

Mrs. Tubb has been collecting donations of small items for the Country Store, a big hit every year. She'll continue to accept donations in the first grade classroom through the school day Friday. Be sure to stop by and check out the sundry items available for a free.

Students are encouraged to dress up in their favorite Halloween costumes to have their pictures take at the carnival and to participate in a costume contest.

Unlike in past years, Friday's Sulphur Bluff School PTO Halloween Carnival will not include an auction. In the past, while donations have been plentiful, the funds raised from the auction have just covered the cost of the items. Therefore, PTO has opted not to host the event this year, according to Sharp.

All carnival events will conclude at 9 p.m. Friday.

Funds from the Oct. 17 Halloween Carnival will be split between the PTO and teachers to help with their individual classroom needs, according to Sharp.

Last year's fundraisers provided money to help out in the classroom, AR parties, T-shirts for field trips and coupled with funding donated by a local bank to get new signs for two ballfields. They also utilized some of the funding to give $500 and $250 scholarships.

For the 2008-2009 school year, Sulphur Bluff PTO hopes to raise enough funding to purchase a laminating machine, more up-to-date playground equipment for all grade school ages, and they'd love to be able to offer more scholarships as well as help the school fund some kind of walking path or track so that students won't have to access the nearby county road to do running activities, which can prove dangerous.

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