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Crazy eight(ies)
Schools have fun with upcoming benefit theme
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Patrick Henry Elementary School won an ‘80s-themed costume contest held in support of the upcoming “Big Hearts, Bigger Hair ‘80s Gala” to benefit the Martinsville City Public Schools Endowment Fund. School staff members are (front row, from left) Lizzy Fulcher, Marla Perry, (middle row) Cameron Cooper, Tamara Crowe, Ama Waller, (back row) Randy Via, Ashley Diaz, Pam Morton, Tracey Pierson, Linda Littlejohn and Judy McDonnell. (Contributed photos)
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Monday, January 27, 2014

By HARRISON HAMLET - Special to the Bulletin

There was a blast from the past Friday in the Martinsville schools as teachers and administrators broke out some 1980s outfits.

They were competing in a costume contest to support the upcoming “Big Hearts, Bigger Hair ’80s Gala” benefit for the Martinsville City Public Schools Endowment Fund on Feb. 1.

The endowment funds creative learning projects in city classrooms. Teachers apply for funds to support a class project, special event or field trip that would not usually be covered under the school’s budget, according to Jennifer Martin, communications and community outreach coordinator with the school division.

Those projects range from trips to the UNC Planetarium to having webcam meetings with people in countries such as England and China, to the purchase of sharks for dissection in a lab.

Funds for such projects are raised at the gala, Martin said.

She explained that the costume contest was held “to generate excitement and get the word out to our students or anyone else who might have seen the teachers (Friday) and asked them why they’re dressed up. We felt like this would be a colorful and exciting way to spread the word.”

The staff of Patrick Henry Elementary School won the costume contest as Randy Via, Ashley Diaz, Pam Morton, Tracey Pierson, Linda Littlejohn, Judy McDonnell, Cameron Cooper, Tamara Crowe, Ama Waller, Lizzy Fulcher and Marla Perry showed the most enthusiasm, according to Martin.

For their efforts, a dessert spread including a variety of homemade desserts from Third Bay Cafe will be supplied by the endowment board for a future faculty meeting.

There also was a ticket sale competition between the city school faculties, which used a percentage system to determine a winner, according to Yvonne Givens, endowment board chair. Martinsville Middle School won that contest, and its faculty will receive breakfast from Third Bay Cafe at a future date.

The gala, which will be from 7 to 11 p.m. Feb. 1 at Forest Park Country Club, will go beyond outfits with its 1980s theme. Music will be supplied by “I’m With The Band,” a karaoke band, and retro games will be available.

Guests will be encouraged to follow the city school teachers’ lead with ’80s costumes, big hair and other creative accessories.

“We are encouraging people to dress up in all manner of ’80s clothing. So whether they want to wear a prom dress from the ’80s or ‘Madonna style,’ that’s what we’re looking for,” Martin said. “But if people aren’t that adventurous, they can feel free to wear regular cocktail attire.”

The Gala Committee hopes to raise $30,000 through the event, according to a news release. Tickets are $40 each and may be purchased at any city school office or at the central office in the former Druid Hills School on Indian Trail. Tickets include heavy hors d’oeuvres, dancing and two drink tickets.

A silent auction that is a major piece of the endowment’s fundraising efforts also will be held at the gala and will feature a range of items, according to the release.

“The end goal, no matter how much money we raise, is to have enough to support grants that the teachers apply for to do special things with their students,” Martin said. “The goal is to just raise as much money as possible and have fun doing it.”


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