Steamboat Springs carnival to benefit schools |

Steamboat Springs carnival to benefit schools

Spring into Summer Carnival is Thursday through Sunday in Meadows Parking Lot

Jesus Mandela

Jesus Mandela, who works with Brown's Amusements, sets up the Spring into Summer Carnival on Wednesday in Meadows Parking Lot near the base of Steamboat Ski Area. The carnival, which is a fundraiser for Steamboat Springs Middle School and Strawberry Park Elementary School, begins Thursday and runs through the weekend.
John F. Russell

— With cuts to statewide K-12 education, fundraisers such as this weekend's Spring Into Summer Carnival are even more important.

They're providing more than just extras, said Bethany DeBlasis, Strawberry Park Elementary School Parent-Teacher Information Committee member and carnival organizer.

The district expects to cut about $800,000 this year, about 4 percent of its $20 million budget, but about $1 million less than 2009-10. And DeBlasis said the district could cut another million next year, according to what school officials have said.

"That's a lot of necessities and possibly teachers," she said, referring to layoffs. "Anything we can do to help supplement what they're losing, that's what the parent information groups do.

"We pay for a lot things they don't have in their budgets."

DeBlasis said she hopes the carnival, in its third year, raises $12,000 for Strawberry Park Elementary and Steamboat Springs Middle schools. She said it raised $9,000 last year.

The carnival will operate from 5 to 11 p.m. Thursday and Friday and from noon to 11 p.m. Saturday and Sunday in Meadows Parking Lot. DeBlasis said Brown's Amusements will provide carnival rides, games and concessions. She said the company donates 15 percent of sales to the parent groups.

The groups will sell $1 tickets for a drawing that will take place after the carnival, DeBlasis said. She said parents and local businesses donated Colorado Rockies tickets, a child's BMX bike, a family bike rental, an iPod Shuffle, an electric scooter and other items.

DeBlasis said the parent groups also will sell soda and juices all four days of the carnival and host a bake sale Saturday.

Middle School Assistant Principal Jerry Buelter said that in the past teachers have been able to apply to receive some of the funding from the parent groups.

He praised the parent groups and said that whatever money they raise during the year goes back to the schools and that the same is true for the carnival.

"It's a great fundraiser," Buelter said. "Every cent of it goes directly into the classroom."

Other vendors include The Drunken Onion Get & Go Kitchen and City Cafe. DeBlasis said this year's carnival will be a zero-waste event.

She said the carnival started as a way to raise money for the schools that would be fun for families, instead of just soliciting people to give money.

DeBlasis said the parent groups continue to try to make it better and are thinking about adding Soda Creek Elementary School as a beneficiary next year.

"We're just trying to make it grow each year," she said. "It's our most successful fundraiser. If we can make it bigger, each group benefits."

— To reach Jack Weinstein, call 970-871-4203 or email