Fun and food help Bedford schools - Wicked Local

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Fun and food help Bedford schools - Wicked Local
Mar 30th 2012, 03:32

There were clowns, pies in the face, funhouse mirrors and plenty of food and games of chance this past Saturday during the Bedford Elementary Schools Together PTO Circus and Carnival.

 The three circus shows were sold out throughout the day, and in between, Flatbread Pizza, Bedford Farms ice cream, Kayem hot dogs and circus favorites popcorn and cotton candy were enjoyed by many.

This year's circus featured highlights such as the antics of Bedford's favorite clowns Bucky and Gigi, an extreme hula-hooper, and a stilted cowboy. Third-grader Nick Bailey's favorite circus act was "the cowboy who amazed the crowd with his whip and lasso." Nick's mom, Lisa Bailey, enjoyed the balancing and acrobatics of the talented George. Second-grader Quinn Ricci really liked it when "Bucky the clown was spinning and balancing balls and making the audience laugh."

Davis School second-grader Tyler Kupfrian enjoyed the carnival's "hockey game." When asked what her favorite part of the carnival was, fourth-grader Kaya Wass responded, "the lucky key game." 

In addition to a pie eating contest, new games were added this year.

"We had three new games this year, which proved to be very popular: The Cat with the Hat, Slap Shot hockey and The Spider's Web. We can save money by making our own games rather than renting them, and it makes it much more personal. For instance, the hockey goalie was painted in Bedford town colors and sported a B on the chest," said Peter Ricci,  BEST/PTO vice president.

Again this year the principal pie shop was a resounding success. This included perennial favorite Andrea Salipante, Davis vice principal who remained cheerful as always. Outside, the Bedford Police Department offered cruiser rides around the parking lot chauffered by uniformed officers, with sirens and lights on full blast.

Raffles were available with prizes donated by local people and businesses, like XBOX 360 Kinect, a bicycle, an iRobot Roomba, beauty treatments, restaurant gift certificates and tuition to the Davis afterschool sports program.

At the carnival, children played games like toilet paper toss, hole-in-one, lollipop tree and wheel of wowza, winning prizes thanks to sponsors Dillen Tree Service, New England Nurseries, Chip-In Farm, Bedord Fire Department and many other local businesses. New to sponsorship this year was O'Connor Hardware which supplied prizes as well as bags for the children to carry them. 

Sponsor participation

"What was great was not only did Flatbread supply their delicious pizza, Sean Toomey and his staff each took a turn at the pie eating contest," said Ricci. "That shows a great business/town partnership."  

And they weren't alone. Big Top sponsors Higgins Realty Group and Lexington Alarm not only donated but also watched the show.Don Martini of Lexington Alarm Systems stepped right up and participated in the pie eating contest.  

As usual, the BEST/PTO was very organized and had the support of over 100 volunteers. Middle school and high school students, parents, at least one grandparent and other community members, adorned in orange t-shirts, hosted games and raffles, and sold tickets and treats.

Proceeds go to the schools

Last year, the circus and carnival raised several thousand dollars for the Bedford Public Schools.  BEST/PTO Secretary Julie Phylis is hopeful this year's circus will be even more successful.

Phylis said the premium sponsorships from Fuji Film, Middlesex Savings Bank, Summitt Fitness and Cambridge Trust were especially helpful. While fundraising totals are not yet figured, Robin Steele, BEST/PTO treasurer, said it was a great turnout and our preliminary estimates will show it as the group's most profitable year, in part due to the new sponsors who stepped in to fill sponsorship vacancies. 

Money raised from the circus and carnival supports the BEST/PTO mission of providing enrichment programs to elementary school students such as field trips and classroom programs like visits from authors, artists, historians and other educators.

This was the fifth time the circus came to town. As a result, the BEST/PTO circus has become a tradition for many Bedford families. The circus is "one of the top fund-raising events of the year, and is a wonderful opportunity for Bedford families to come out, have fun, and spend time together," Ricci said.

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