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Sexton Mountain Elementary carnival attracts lively crowd

by: TIMES PHOTO: ADAM WICKHAM - Parents and children wait in line for the bouncy house.Sexton Mountain Elementary School was a flurry of activity Friday night as more than 500 people enjoyed carnival festivities.

Family members of all ages played an array of games, and the younger ones in the crowd hopped into the bounce houses. Even high school students and neighbors joined in the fun.

The community carnival serves as the biggest fundraiser of the year and is organized by the school’s Parent Teacher Club to support extracurricular activities and academics.

“This kind of family and community event is not only fun for everybody, but it really supports the students directly,” said Anna Grass, the president of the Parent Teacher Club. “Money raised helps to pay for Art Literacy programs, update technology needs, support field trips and a variety of other programs, events and needs in both the school and the classroom.”by: TIMES PHOTO: ADAM WICKHAM - Masha Khartikova, 9, gets her face painted.

Tickets were sold to visitors who handed them over to buy cotton candy and hot dogs, gain entry to bounce houses and use as game passes to win funny money to trade in for prizes.

David Harrison, past Parent Teacher Club president and father of two daughters in the fifth grade, was among the army of volunteers who spent the evening setting the stage for the circus on campus. He is credited with leading the charge in creating the school’s new playground, and even though he has less than a month left with the elementary school, he arrived hours early to set up the games.

“I never expected to get (the playground) done while I was here,” said Harrison, but through a combination of donations, an auction and money raised at last year’s carnival, the playground was completed in April 2013.

The carnival-like atmosphere featured two rubber duck ponds, various ring and bean-bag tosses, a lollipop pull tree, bowling, prize wheels and other interactive games lined up across the field.

Face-painters from the Arts and Communication Magnet Academy and students from Aloha High School volunteered their time. They were joined by Boy Scouts, Beaverton police and firefighters from Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue who provided information, sponsored giveaways and answered questions. Even Papa Murphy’s showed up with pizza.

There were more than 100 volunteers. “It was great to have the community partnerships from Washington County 911, TVF&R, BPD and the others who represented and really made this a successful event,” said Polly Campbell, a third-year volunteer and mother of a second-grader.

Tonya Robson has volunteered for the past three years at the carnival and has a son in the second grade. She said her favorite part of the carnival was “seeing the kids having fun at the games and at the prize booth.”

“Candy always sells out early,” noted Tamra Smith, who ran the prize booth. “It’s a madhouse here at the end of the carnival.”

Overall, the carnival raised about $3,500.

“We’ve received only positive feedback ... from people saying things about how big the event was, how much fun,” said Campbell. “There was something for everyone, even for the little kids.”by: TIMES PHOTO: ADAM WICKHAM - Jadyn Smith, 9, examines the jump rope she won in the fishing game.by: TIMES PHOTO: ADAM WICKHAM - Yusuf Darwish, 4, tries to hit a ball suspended by an air stream.by: TIMES PHOTO: ADAM WICKHAM - Parker Arbuthnot, 11, plays a skee-ball game while his friend Anders Turman, 11, (right) and Aloha High School student and volunteer Brian Vasquez watch.

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