Harvest Festival celebrates autumn’s arrival

Take a look, and you’ll see that parent volunteers at Prescott Elementary School really do know how to put on a fun family event …

Courtney Peterson and Marissa Perry sell carnival tickets for games, fun, and food at the annual Prescott Elementary School Harvest Festival.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
For the third year in a row, volunteers from the Prescott Elementary School Parent Community Association (PEPCA) put on a Harvest Festival at the school’s campus in the Parkrose School District.

The October 4 event was clearly a family affair, with loads of activities and kid-friendly foods and treats – located behind the school in the playground and open areas.

Prescott Elementary Parent Community Association members Eleisa Perry and Gretchen Gandara say they love watching families have fun together at the fair.

“We see this as both a fundraiser and a ‘fun-raiser outreach’ to our community in the Parkrose neighborhood,” remarked chief organizer, and PEPCA member, Gretchen Gandara. “The money we raise helps supplement different educational programs here.”

An example of programs that would be helped by the PEPCA, Gandara told East Portland News, would be bringing in a guest speaker for a science program. “We also fund needed school classroom supplies that might not be covered by the school’s budget.

Kids line up for a turn at the Face-Painting booth.

Rayne Tafoya, a parent volunteer at the school, turns out to be a great fortune teller – spinning uplifting and delightful readings for her young guests.

“Another thing we do is hold barbecues for community outreach, to bring the public in and letting them get to know what their local elementary school is doing,” Gandara said.

She had lots of help putting on the event, attended by more than 100 families. “I believe we have 50 volunteers,” Gandara recounted. “Most of them are coming from our school as well as the middle school and the high school AVID program. And, we’re certainly grateful for help from people in our community, like those from St. Rita’s Catholic Church.”

The Ian James Band provides a rockin’ soundtrack for this outer East Portland Harvest Fest.

Volunteer Carlos Cortez helps out at the snow cone booth.

The best part the event for her, Gandara commented, was seeing kids and families having fun. “In a way, it’s an old-fashioned carnival of fun for the whole community. Seeing the kids having a good time with their parents is great – happy memories are being made here!”

© 2014 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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