LAKE WYLIE -- Crowders Creek Elementary and Middle schools are rolling out the rides, games and prizes Saturday morning for the annual Spring Carnival, and everyone is invited.
"It's our biggest fundraiser of the year," said event organizer Jarod Schmeider. "In years past, at our Spring Carnival, we've raised anywhere between $15,000 and $25,000. We've had great, great support."
The event includes four inflatables, a climbing wall, carnival ride, jousting, an obstacle course and food and prizes from the community.
There will also be a Chinese Auction, where participants purchase tickets and place them in drawings for prize packages ranging from $25 to $300 retail value. Among the 25 items are tickets to zoos, Lowe's Motor Speedway and Ray's Splash Planet in Charlotte.
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Also, students and classrooms will auction about 35-themed baskets, some with items collected since September, with everything from family movie night to art supplies or tickets to sporting events. Bids will be taken until 1 p.m., with baskets retailing from $50 to $300. Last year, the baskets alone raised $6,000.
"We have found that people are more adamant about Gamecocks and Tigers," said parent volunteer Sherri Ciurlik, noting both a Clemson and South Carolina basket will be up for bids.
Other prizes Saturday include "principal for the day," allowing one student to shadow his or her principal during a school day. Wristbands for outside rides can be purchased for $15, and tickets will be sold for games and rides.
While the annual fall fundraiser at Crowders Creek, generally a catalog sale, supports the Parent Teacher Association, the spring event writes a check directly to school staff.
"Each year it's different," Ciurlik said. "Every year at the end of the school year, we sit down with the principals and teachers and say, 'Tell us what you still need.'"
Last year, the school received a new stereo system and screen for its multi-purpose room. A picnic table is among this year's possibilities.
The carnival is also about community spirit.
"There's generally something for everybody," Ciurlik said. "It's just a community-building, fun day."
Want to go?
The Crowders Creek Spring Carnival will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Crowders Creek schools, 5515 Charlotte Hwy., Lake Wylie, rain or shine. For more information, call (803) 831-2434.