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Sunday, November 22, 2009

First Annual Frenchboro Fun Fair


my. I'm still recovering from our Fun Fair on Thursday night. The kids hatched this plan early on this year when they wanted to do some fundraisers to get a new bike rack and to add to our playground. When we asked how they could raise money, they came up with some excellent ideas like an art auction, a fair, doing street music... So, when they decided upon a fair as their main fundraiser, we thought adding the auction and music would make it even better. They researched the cost, style and shipping expenses of the bike rack that they wanted, chose the games and voted on the backdrops. Then we began painting, making signs and trying different games that would be fun and challenging yet not impossible (or too easy!).

Let me express how delighted I am by stencils. In the past, we have had some, let me say, interesting, lettering on our signs. Something about size and spacing was challenging, to put it mildly. If we were hand-lettering, a sign that said Frenchboro Fun Fair, would potentially look like this: Frenchboro Fun Fair. Not even close to kidding. Add to that our questionable spelling and you had a world of unintentional hilarity. Cute for sure, but we didn't want confusion as to what the game was or that the booth up front said 'tickets'. So, we dug out the stencils that we had purchased for a whopping seven dollars at the beginning of the year. The kids, thank you very much, LOVED the stencils as much as we did and Mr. Finn announced as the signs were rapidly progressing, that this was the best money we'd spent. Perhaps and exaggeration, but good. Really good.

Signs. Check. Bean Bag Toss background. Check. Balloon Darts set up. Check. Art Auction framed and ready to assemble. Bait buckets washed for the Ball in the Bucket was all coming together. The kids even typed up their talents to be auctioned off and delivered invitations by hand to the folks that they thought were going to be on-island.

Thursday was the day. The kids set up in the afternoon and then went home briefly before coming to man their stations. Jayde came to me before taking her post at the bake sale. "Ms. Finn. I'm so scared." Her eyes were big. "What are you scared of?" "The customers!" So stinkin cute.

Tickets were 50 cents. For one ticket, you could play any of the games, and win glow bracelets and necklaces. I could not win a game. The little carnies worked their magic, calling out, "Pin the tail on the lobstah! Put the ball in the bucket!" All the games were happening upstairs and then downstairs was the silent art auction, the bid-on-a-kid auction and I was busy doing henna tattoos and face painting (more like arm painting as no one wanted anything on their faces). Dylan was our piano man, playing while folks walked around looking at the art work and bidding on items.

At the end of the night we finished with the Pie in the Face and the Big Mouth contest. During the fair, we had jars out with pictures of the students who were willing to get a pie in the face, as well as Mr. Finn and myself. All night, anyone could put tickets with their own name on it into the jar of their choice, in the hopes of being the one to bestow the pie in the face of their favorite volunteer. The moment came for the tickets to be added up and it was coming down to Cody, our 7th grader, Elijah, our 5th grader, and Cadin, our 1st grader. The crowd spoke that night with 61!! tickets for Cadin.

Cadin, who abhorred getting his hands dirty or his clothes wet last year, took one for the team. Right in the kisser. And who got the honor? Brody, our 4th grader! Mr. Finn was so jealous! He said he could see his name on the ticket right next to Brody's that got picked.

Sooooo, who's got the biggest mouths in Frenchboro. Ahem...drum roll please! Johnny, Cody and Roman! Woohoo. Everyone had their own techniques, some just piling in those grapes, others pulling open their cheeks to carefully squeeze in one more. It was a great way to cap the night.

All in all, we raised $840! Minus the costs for bake mixes, prizes, decorations, etc. we cleared $700, more than enough for our bike rack and well on our way to adding onto our playground tower. We are so thankful for the incredibly generous Frenchboro parents and community members who showed up for the fair! And thanks to Marissa and Katie for sharing their photos as I had my hands full with the henna.

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