By Tom Vaught
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.
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 schools
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
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
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.