If you go
What: Spring Into Summer carnival to benefit Strawberry Park Elementary School and Steamboat Springs Middle School
When: 5 to 11 p.m. Thursday and Friday, noon to 11 p.m. Saturday and May 23
Where: Meadows Parking Lot at Pine Grove and Mount Werner roads
Cost: $18 advance purchase for all-day ride tickets, available at the schools, Epilogue Book Co. and All That Jazz; or $30 for all-day ride tickets purchased on the day of the carnival, $1 for single tickets
Steamboat Springs The Spring Into Summer carnival to benefit Strawberry Park Elementary School and Steamboat Springs Middle School starts Thursday.
And there may not be a better time.
“With all the funding cuts, as far as the schools, we really need to raise lots of money,” said Strawberry Park Parent-Teacher Information Committee member Bethany DeBlasis, who is organizing the carnival. “We’re not just going to be giving the kids the extras and the fluff next year. We may need to provide some of the basics.”
The 2010-11 Steamboat Springs School District budget has been reduced by nearly $1.9 million and the cuts are expected to continue for another couple of years.
Last year’s carnival raised about $8,000, but DeBlasis hopes that number doubles in its second year as more people are familiar with it.
The carnival is from 5 to 11 p.m. Thursday and Friday and from noon to 11 p.m. Saturday and May 23 at the Meadows Parking Lot at Pine Grove and Mount Werner roads.
There will be carnival rides and carnival food. DeBlasis said Steamboat Smokehouse, Ciao Gelato and The Drunken Onion have purchased booths and also will sell food. She said the parent groups hope to generate more revenue by selling baked goods and concessions, in addition to ticket sales.
The carnival is free to enter, but all-day ride tickets are being sold in advance through Wednesday for $18. They are available at each district school, Epilogue Book Co. and All That Jazz. All-day ride tickets will be sold at the door for any day of the carnival for $30. Single tickets also will be sold for $1 each, but rides cost between three and six tickets.
DeBlasis said the Strawberry Park parent group tries to raise $15,000 to $20,000 annually for the school.
Strawberry Park Co-Principal Michelle Miller said that in the past, the parent group fulfilled teacher wish-list items, extras that don’t come out of their annual operating budgets. Examples include iPods and Flip Video cameras for students to use in class.
But Miller said the parent group also pays for annual events, such as Donuts with Dad, Muffins with Mom, the staff appreciation lunch and parent-teacher conference meals.
“Last year, with the budget cuts, just having their support both financially and with volunteerism is huge,” she said. “We’ll be relying on them more and more.”
A percentage of the carnival proceeds will go to the parent group, DeBlasis said. She said the carnival operator, Brown’s Amusements, gets the rest. She said Brown’s Amusements doesn’t charge for putting on the carnival, but the parent group is responsible for advertising and selling tickets.
DeBlasis said the Spring Into Summer carnival is the Strawberry Park parent group’s biggest annual fundraiser. Last year, the parent group dedicated funding to the campaign to build new playgrounds at each elementary school.
But next year and in future years, what the parent group contributes is going to be different as tough economic times continue.
“I am very pleased to see that once again, our community rallies together to help the schools,” Superintendent Shalee Cunningham said. “This is not uncommon for our community … and very much appreciated.”