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Sandy Journal

Altara combines fall fun with festival fundraiser

Nov 25, 2019 02:00PM ● By Julie Slama

Dressed in costumes, Altara Elementary students and their Kittyhawk mascot take part in their fun run as part of the school’s fall festival. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

By Julie Slama | [email protected]

Altara fourth-grader Adalynn Jensen raced around the school yard, dressed as a villain, running past friends who were costumed as witches, goblins and ghosts as part of the school’s annual fall festival.

“Running is my favorite part of the festival,” she said. “We do it every fall. I get to spend time with my friends in our costumes and with my family playing a lot of games here.”

Altara Elementary’s fall festival included the fun run, carnival games, silent auction and even a chance to play on the new playground erected in the back of the school.

Climbing on the new playground was among Ruby Helm and her friend Kailyn Mortensen’s favorite activities, said Ruby’s mother, Sheri. Ruby’s older sister, Amaya, said she liked seeing the new look of the Kittyhawk mascot, who joined her sister and others in the fun run.

“I like the Kittyhawk and having memories of my fun run here,” she said.

The Helms’ neighbor, Jill Martin, said that getting Dracula teeth from the carnival games and sipping hot coconut almond chocolate with rainbow sprinkles on to were the highlights for the kids she brought to the festival.

Families also could purchase spirit wear, which teacher Kathy Smith wore as she supported her students in the activities as well as to support the Kittyhawk, the only female mascot in Canyons School District. Smith also bid on a few silent auction items.

Between the fun run and silent auction, Principal Nicole Svee Magann said they had about $15,000 and were still counting donations and pledges. Much of what is raised will be used for typical PTA activities such as field trips, Meet the Masters arts program, Red and White Ribbon weeks, Principal’s Awards and other programs. 

“We changed it into a fall festival a few years ago,” she said. “We used to just have a run through the neighborhood, then we had a carnival with food trucks at Alta. It was so successful and many of our alumni came back, it turned into a community feel. We wanted to have that same welcoming feeling at our own school and so with our new parking lot, we have the room to hold it here, have the fun run on our field, give the chance for kids to play on the new playground and participate in the carnival games. We decided to give the students another chance to wear their costumes and have it be a Halloween theme and that’s made it even more fun for everyone.”

Svee Magann credits much of the work to get donations for the silent auction to the PTA and the families who support the school.

“Our parents, our PTA works so hard for our school,” she said. “We’ve received so much positive feedback.”

At the fall festival, RJ Buchmiller kept his eye on five children — his own kids, his nieces and neighbors.

“The kids are having a blast,” he said, while watching them play carnival games. “My kids value the school fun run as their fundraiser at the fall festival. They went door-to-door, getting people to support them on the run, really selling it and getting donations for the school. And the silent auction brings in even more contributions. We’re big supporters of Altara and the PTA here makes a difference with the programs they enjoy — Battle of the Books, assemblies, field trips and all sorts of activities — and they’re doing it in a way the kids can contribute and have a lot of fun.”