By Ed Karvoski Jr., Contributing Writer
North Grafton – The North Grafton Elementary Schools Parent Teacher Group (NGES PTG) is excited to be busy preparing for the 25th anniversary of its annual Fun Fair. The landmark celebration is scheduled for Saturday, May 9, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at North Grafton Elementary School. Also, returning for its third year is the Auction and Raffle Preview Night to be held Friday, May 8, from 7 to 9 p.m.
Laura Often, NGES PTG publicity chair, is most looking forward to the preview night.
“It’s like the calm before the storm,” she said with a laugh. “The preview night came about because a lot of our parents who are working the event, like myself, never got a chance to go into the auction. This part of the Fun Fair has probably grown the most over the years. It’s an adult-only night and it’s pretty classy as well.”
In addition to 150 to 200 auction and raffle items, the preview night features music and complimentary food donated by Anzio’s Brick Oven Pizza. Items are donated by businesses in Grafton and surrounding communities. Bidding on the items will continue throughout the following day.
“During the day, we have plenty of food that’s usually donated by Pepperoni Express,” Often noted.
Among the volunteers lending a hand during the Fun Fair are teams from Kohl’s in Millbury and Northborough with their Associates in Action program.
“It’s really a partnership with many local businesses and groups in the community,” Often said.
To commemorate the 25th anniversary, several new attractions have been added. Jen Carter of “The XLO Morning Show” will mingle with guests and distribute prizes. Also new this year will be the Worcester Sharks “Sharkhead Shootout,” an interactive street hockey booth.
“We’ve also been trying to get some returning favorites that we have had for a few years,” Often said. “We have Flippo the Juggling Clown coming back.”
Returning by popular demand after debuting at last year’s Fun Fair will be Big Daddy’s Slot Car Racing.
“It was very popular last year because it appeals to both boys and girls of all ages,” Often noted.
Other favorite returning attractions are local musician Josh Briggs as deejay, pony rides provided by Ridge Valley Stables, a demonstration by Henry Agri’s Kenpo Karate, lots of games, crafts, moonwalks, bounce houses and face painting.
The Fun Fair is NGES PTG’s largest fundraiser of the year. Funds raised help support educational and enrichment programs, and the purchases of teaching tools for about 850 students attending North Grafton and North Street elementary schools.
Teaching tools recently purchased by the group include a smart board, wireless headphones, and Toobaloos, a phone-like device that helps children learn to read and enhance speech. NGES PTG also pays admission fees for each grade’s field trips; parents cover only bus transportation costs.
The auction and raffle, and event sponsors account for nearly two thirds of the total profits of the Fun Fair. NGES PTG encourages sponsorship commitment at various levels as soon as possible to allow for maximum recognition.
Confirmed sponsors are: Homefield Credit Union, presenting sponsor; UniBank, platinum level; O’Malley Family Chiropractic Health & Wellness, TD Bank, and Wyman-Gordon Company, gold level; Aggregate Industries, David French Music, Kids on the Common Pediatrics, Millbury Federal Credit Union, and Savers Bank; silver level; and MacKoul’s Cars, bronze level.
For sponsorship information, or to donate an auction or raffle item, contact Kathleen Schaker at 508-450-8899 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Everyone knows it’s a fun event,” Often added. “The Grafton community really rallies around the schools.”