The event, sponsored by the school's Parents' Club, raised over $10,000 and featured food, fun, games old and new, arts and crafts, decorations made by the students, a silent auction and demonstrations by local businesses. Miss Sparkles the Clown made an appearance, entertaining kids on and off stage as she rollerbladed around the venue, casting bubbles with a large bubble wand. Leadership students from Edna Hill Middle School and Liberty High operated many of the booths.
It was tough to tell who was enjoying themselves more, the kids or their parents.
"It's fun," said parent Jennifer Eekhof. "There's more opportunity for kids to pick and choose … run around and play the games."
A bit of safety fair flair was added as School Resource Officer Matthew Bell from the Brentwood Police Department was on hand to talk about stranger danger and let the kids explore a patrol car and SUV. David Newman of Farmer's Insurance handed out free child ID kits to parents and spoke about how important and easy it is to keep one of the kits ready in case of an emergency.
"It helps local law enforcement have immediate information they don't have to send away for," Newman said. "Panic sets in, and who wants to run around the house looking for a photograph when it's all right here?"
New to the event this year was a healthy food demon-stration sponsored by the Pacific Coast Farmers' Market and Kaiser Permanente. Sisters Ana and Erica Villalobos of La Villa's Mexicatessen in Concord demonstrated how to prepare simple, healthy dishes like meatball soup and fruit cobbler. Recipe cards were also handed out.
JaNel Plowman, in charge of the Parents' Club public relations, said the group was trying to make the event more family-oriented and seemed to succeed with all the positive feedback.
"Everyone liked the new prizes and games," she said. "Everyone seemed to be happy with the food."
Funds from the event will help pay for school necessities, including assemblies, educational materials, and new books for the library.