Find family fun at Winter FestWhen Jessie Huber volunteered to organize a night of family fun at Northwestern Elementary School, she had no idea she’d become an amateur cartographer.
By: Emily Kram, Superior Telegram
When Jessie Huber volunteered to organize a night of family fun at Northwestern Elementary School, she had no idea she’d become an amateur cartographer.
Huber’s map-making skills will be put to the test today as the NES Parent Teacher Association hosts its first annual Winter Fest from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the elementary school in Poplar.
“At first I didn’t think it would be a big deal, just a few tables,” Huber said.
Huber began reaching out to community organizations two months ago, and interest in the family event spread quickly. When her list of participating groups reached two dozen, she decided to sit down and draw up a map — as much to find room for all the organizations as to help families navigate the event.
“I’ve been having to tell people, ‘If you have tables, please bring your own,’” Huber said.
Close to 30 community organizations are set to participate in the event, including the Cable Museum of Natural History, 4-H, Humane Society and Douglas County Sheriff’s Department. Carnival games will be set up for children with prizes donated from dozens of local businesses.
For the NES PTA, formed last August, Winter Fest marks the first major program the group has been able to bring to the school. The event takes place in conjunction with the national PTA’s “Bring your Family to School Week,” but it has a distinctly local flavor.
With virtually no budget, the PTA was only able to put forth funds to purchase insurance to cover the family night. Everything else at today’s festival, Huber said, came from the generosity of the community.
“It’s been so exciting to see this develop with no money,” Huber said. “That’s why we raise our kids here, because it’s so supportive. They care about these kids.”
Boxes of donated items are stacked to the ceiling in Huber’s home. She has an abundance of prizes to give away, from small trinkets to sweatshirts. One mother volunteered her sewing skills to contribute homemade mittens, while Scholastic Inc. donated about 100 children’s books that will be given away.
“There’s just kind people out here who would give their last flour and eggs just to make something for the children,” Huber said. “It’s such a tight-knit community.”
On top of the smaller items, Huber received bigger prizes that will be given away at the end of the night.
Huber was also very thankful for the support of other local PTAs from the Superior school district. The PTA at Four Corners Elementary School loaned the NES parents the carnivals games it uses at its fall festival each year, and the Northern Lights PTA offer the use of its popcorn machine for the night.
“Anything to help a fellow PTA,” said Ellen Chicka of the Four Corners PTA.
Chicka, has also been in touch with the NES PTA to offer insights from her own experience organizing Four Corners’ annual family event. She has enjoyed the opportunity to aid the PTA in Poplar and looks forward to the opportunity for further collaboration in the future.
“It’s nice to be able to share what we know with them,” Chicka said. “I really want to see more of a community effort.”
Children will have plenty to keep them occupied at tonight’s event.
Huber said Winter Fest will have all the classic games: a sucker tree, duck pond, Wheel of Fortune, Plinko and a “tattoo” stand.
“And we’ve got the fishing game,” Huber said. “You can’t forget the fishing game.”
Balloons and popcorn will be handed out, and many community organizations have special activities planned for their tables.
Maps, Huber assured, will be available.