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Community Happenings
Halloween Carnival Sandy Spring Friends School
Sandy Spring, MD

What's the Big Idea?
Hold a carnival! The eleventh graders of Sandy Spring Friends School had a full-fledged carnival, with games, balloons, pumpkin and face painting, a cake raffle, and even a haunted house. Tickets were sold for each activity, and students and their families from all grade levels - the school goes from pre-kindergarten to twelfth grade - were invited to come.

This was a risky fundraiser. No one had tried to do something like it in the past, so it wasn't clear how many people would be interested in coming. Fortunately, the carnival turned out to be a success! It was initially scheduled to last two hours, but because demand for the haunted house was so high, the carnival ran for nearly an extra hour.

Tips to take to the bank...
Tips to take to the bank... •   Research, research, research. When you try a new fundraiser at your school, there are lots of things you don't know about - the most important of which is how many people will be interested in your idea. Research can help you with this. A quick survey, for example, can help weed out ideas that won't fly. Or maybe another school in your area has done something similar, and can give you some advice.

•   Post-game analysis doesn't hurt. The carnival organizers kept track of how many tickets each activity sold, so that they can plan better for demand in the future and spice up the activities that didn't do as well.

•   Keep your costs low. With an elaborate event like a carnival, equipment and other setup costs can really get high - Sandy Spring's carnival cost about $120. Contact local businesses and see if you can get at least some of your costs covered through sponsorships or donations.

There's more than one way to do it

•   Long Reach High School organized a similar kind of carnival, this time for Homecoming.

•   Century High School had an event for students at a baseball game that included a student getting to throw the first pitch, skits performed by the drama club, and fireworks.

•   Catonsville High School held a flea market.

->Check out other fun ideas

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