PTA Family Carnival is a hit On Friday, April 30, the Vermillion High School gymnasium was packed, but there were no cheerleaders, no pep band, and no screaming fans. On this evening it was packed with rubber ducks, hula hoops, clowns, a mountain of cakes, and gleeful, wide-eyed children. The Vermillion PTA hosted a Family Fun Carnival, and were pleasantly surprised, even a bit overwhelmed, by its instant success.
"We had hoped and planned for a couple hundred people," said Paddy Rosdail, chair of the PTA Events Committee. "We were amazed to see over 600 people there! It was just a whole lotta fun for families, and it was a chance for parents, kids, teachers, and principals to laugh and have fun together ? that's a very personal thing."
Elementary Principal Robert Bowker spent the evening at the ticket table, and saw lines of children and their parents quickly stretch out into the commons.
"This was just a great evening," commented Bowker, "because it provided a way for families to spend time together having fun, without spending a lot of money."
This was the Vermillion PTA's first attempt at a family carnival, and they went to area businesses for financial support.
"The response from this community was fantastic!" said Rosdail. "Businesses, parents, teachers, principals ? everyone was willing to donate money, food and time.
"And, honestly," she adds, "I'm not surprised by the response. Vermillion is such a generous town."
Profits generated by this year's carnival will allow it to be self-supporting next year. The PTA also plans to use part of the profits to help bring in two artists from the South Dakota Area Arts Council during the coming school year.
"It will only be for a week at each elementary school," said PTA President Lisa Swanson, "but with the K-5 art program being cut for next year, we wanted to do something to help fill the void."