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The gym was decorated for the occasion and full of food and auction items. Most of the fundraising happens via the silent and live auctions. Principal Justin Carver said in a perfect year the school would raise $15,000.

BANNER ELK — Banner Elk Elementary School’s annual Fall Fling came and went with a bang on Oct. 4 at the school.

This year the annual fundraiser featuring all the usual affair of games, food, auction items, face painting and inflatables, was raising money for additional art education programs at the school.

Art programs, which have become scarcer in public education due to funding demands for other subject, were a priority for the school’s PTO this year. The PTO hosts the fling.

The amount the fundraiser brings in varies year-to-year.

“A perfect year would be about $15,000 or so,” Principal Justin Carver said, adding the school tries to keep the costs low so students can enjoy the festival and make most of the money from the auction items.

The PTO also sponsors kids who could not afford to come otherwise.

Most of the supplies, including auction items and food, are donated, which helps keep the overhead for the event low.

Setup takes the whole day while students are in school, but Carver said it’s mostly a normal day and classrooms are not used for games unless there is an issue with the weather.

Carver will receive a pie to the face this week by some lucky students who won the reward at the festival.

Some of the arts being brought in will include pottery and music.

The PTO meets every month, sets a budget and sets fundraising goals to make a large project happen. One year the PTO built the climbing wall at the school; last year there was a school trip to the zoo.

“When you ask for the community’s involvement they always show up in a big way,” PTO Chair Zoe Schmidinger said. “People are excited to participate. It makes the children proud when their parents and the community are involved in their school.”

Interim ACS Superintendent Bill Miller said he loves coming to festivals because they are such great community events.

“I just think it’s a fun event for everybody,” Miller said.

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