The boo-tiful people mingle and mangle at Gilpin School’s Halloween Carnival

carnival_BluesBrothersOver $1,300 raised in silent auction fundraiser

by Patty Unruh

Negotiating the hallways at Gilpin County School last Friday evening was pretty tricky, but it was a real treat to see all the kiddos in their costumes for the annual Halloween Carnival fundraiser. The PTA outdid themselves organizing all of the many elements to this event, which was bigger and better than ever.

Dim lighting, cobwebs, a haunted castle backdrop, and a soundtrack of muted screams ushered guests into the inner sanctum of the front lobby. Those brave enough to enter Trick or Treat Street could breathe a sigh of relief as they were genuinely welcomed by friendly elementary secretary Joni Schmidt, presiding over a candy cauldron.

From there, it was all fun and games and candy … and more candy. Six hundred pounds of treats were collected through class competitions to be distributed that night. Mary Perkins and Angela Webb of the PTA reported that the third grade won first place, collecting 173 pounds; they’ll get a pizza party as their reward. Second place went to the Montessori preschool/kindergarten class, which gets an ice cream float party. Lower Montessori came in third and gets a gift from the PTA.

Community helpers made Trick or Treat Street really sweet by handing out the goodies to all the young ghosts and goblins. Volunteers included Linda Craig, Kat Kroll, Lady Elks, Central City Police and Fire Departments, Gilpin Ambulance, Eagle’s Nest, Taggert’s convenience store, Gilpin County Sheriff, Gilpin Masons, Base Camp, and CRC Prospectors Run.

Just past the giant spider at the end of the hall sprouted a patch of candidates for the pumpkin carving contest. Angela Webb’s pumpkin-eating Jack-o-lantern received the most votes.

Of course, it’s always fun to change to a new identity for Halloween. Tiggers, swamp monsters, princesses, superheroes, and motorcycle gang members rubbed elbows with Indian chiefs, colorful birdies, and the grim reaper. Trey Lindberg and Dominic Anderson won the costume contest as the Blues Brothers.

Hungry one-eyed, one-horned monsters flew on in to the multi-purpose room and feasted on baked chicken legs, pulled pork sandwiches, pizza, or chili dogs. Such a nice change from eating purple people. Food was donated by Manley’s BBQ, the Isle of Capri, Dostal Alley, Mountain Mocha, King Soopers, and B&F Superfoods.

Silent auction offerings were also available in the MP room. The PTA took in $1,307 in bids on a wide variety of items, including a tank of gas, two auto race tickets, ski lift tickets, various gift certificates, homemade caramels, a copper bird bath, dinner or lodging at several casinos, and a whole lot more. The long list of generous donors included Mardi Gras Casino, Arapahoe Basin Ski Area, the Weekly Register-Call, Bandimere Speedway, White Fence Farms, Gilpin Community Center, Nederland Rec Center, Business Connection, Taggert’s, Mountain Mocha, Monarch Casino, Underground Liquor, Rustic Moose, Mountain Man Outdoor Store, Last Shot, Alternative Sun Salon, massage therapist Anni Einweiller, Ace Hardware, Nature’s Own, Kellie Bayne, Pie in the Sky, Johnny Z’s Casino, and Heather’s Helping Hands.

The gym was the place to be for the duck pond, toilet paper toss, fun ball toss, bouncy castle, photo booth, bank shot, frog hop, and jail. Timberline Fire Protection District volunteers ran the ever-popular Gunsmoke Alley target shoot; the Interact Club operated a “Plinko” game; fifth graders sponsored the cakewalk, with 35 entries; and Girl Scout leaders worked to grow their troop by offering an exclusive giveaway for anyone who could guess the leaders’ costumes.

The PTA expressed gratitude to all the donors and volunteers who helped make the carnival a huge success. It was all good, clean, and not-all-that-scary fun. Beyond a shadow of a doubt, a treat for children, parents, and the whole Gilpin community!

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