Vol 7 No. 6 - November 1, 2006

Fall Fest exceeds goals

Super Pete
Pete Lannon was in uniform, two of them actually, when he served as the grand marshall of the Fall Fest Halloween Parade last Saturday. Lannon, who is battling cancer, flexes his muscle to show he is up for the fight as he sits with his wife, Debbie (left), and daughter, Jen.

By Tom Vaught
sun staff writer

HOLMES BEACH -– The Fall Festival at Anna Maria Elementary School was a winner, netting approximately $14,000, according to an early count. The goal was $11,000.

The $11,000 will go toward classrooms and department to purchase equipment. On Oct. 17, the PTO voted to give any proceeds over the goal to the Pete Lannon fund for the school’s resource officer who is battling pancreatic cancer.

The weatherman cooperated Saturday morning. After an overnight rain, the clouds went away and the weather became balmy for the students who paraded from Holmes Beach City Hall to the school in Halloween costumes.

In the past, the Anna Maria Elementary School PTO put together a fall festival with booths and games in generally the same location on the school campus. Then came the reconstruction project, which forced them to hold it at St. Bernard Catholic Church.

This year, they had a clean canvas to start planning in and around the new school.

As the students arrived from their parade, they were taken to the playground field behind the school for judging. After that, they disbursed along with parents and others to attend the festivities.

Fall Fest committee chair Lisa Morrow and her charges, the homeroom moms, spent time over the past two months walking around the campus taking notes and planning where everything would go. Initially, they thought the whole festival would fit behind the main school building, but they changed their minds and put the bounce house, slide, rock climb and other large activities there. There was live entertainment and a dunk tank back there also.

In the front, the classroom games were set up along the walkway from the student dropoff area to the front of the school. There was a haunted house inside the auditorium and volunteers sold baked goods in the hallway next to the lunchroom and lunches in the lunchroom. The result was a well-run event with plenty of room for all the activities.

There was also a Kiss the Pig contest where kids and parents voted for their favorite victim to smooch a large male porker that snoozed in a trailer during the morning. The winner, or possibly loser, was Principal Kathy Hayes, who planted a kiss on the reluctant pig and then had to repeat it because the crowd had gotten in the way of the cameras. It took a few minutes, but he made himself available right after taking a sloppy drink of water. Mrs. Hayes proved to be a real trooper who did what she had to do to help the cause.

Shortly after the holidays, the PTO will form another group to start planning the Spring Fling, its largest fund raiser.

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