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Volunteers bridge budgetary gap at Highlands School Carnival

Posted: April 28, 2009 4:47 p.m.
Updated: April 28, 2009 5:21 p.m.
Volunteers often help bridge the budgetary gaps Santa Clarita schools face but with this year's prolonged recession, volunteering has never been more needed.

To support its students and staff, the Parent Faculty Organization (PFO) at Highlands School in Saugus has mobilized their parents and students to volunteer for its biggest fundraiser of the year, the annual Highlands School Carnival this Friday, May 1 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

"With the downturn in the economy and the budget issues facing our school, it is more important than ever that we all pull together," stressed Amy Ganyo, Highlands Carnival Chair. "The Carnival is an entirely volunteer-run event organized by the Highlands PFO."

With dozens of families contributing their talents for the annual fundraising event, Highlands parents and students will host and man a full night schedule of events, including carnival games, theme basket raffle, book and bake sales, pony rides, face painting, photo booth, climbing wall, silent auction and free entertainment.

Countless volunteer hours are also put in prior to the carnival in donation requests, booth set-up, assembling 30 classroom theme baskets, promotions, and organizing every element of an event that is the school's biggest fundraiser.

Last year, the Highlands Carnival raised more than $15,000.

Funds raised help support a host of activities and programs for students and staff of the K-6 school including the library, music and fine arts, field trip bus transportation, playground equipment, book fairs, classroom assistance, after-school enrichment and Highlands as whole.

"Our goal is to raise as many funds as we can for all the things the PFO supports at Highlands."

For this year, the carnival will have a western theme, "Horsing Around at Highlands." The free entertainment lineup includes magician Kerry Ross, Highlands 5th grade line dancers, DJ Mike Diaz, and a special performance by the Highlands cast of the musical "Annie Get Your Gun" comprised of 4th-6th grade students.

During the carnival, the school will also offer its annual "Buy One, Get One Free Scholastic Book Fair," where every item bought -- from books to posters to school supplies -- entitles the purchaser to receive another item for free that is of equal or lesser value, while supplies last.


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