Saturday night was the date for a big event in our school community. It was the 5th Annual Confederation Park Arts Show. This is a huge fund-generator for the Parent Advisory Council each year, usually raising about $10,000 for programs and special events for the school.
Each student at the school works with parent volunteers during the first few months of school to create amazing art pieces that are then sold at the Art Show. I know what you might be thinking - you have to PAY for your own kid's art? You sure do. And you'd buy it too. Not only because your kid made it, but because it's all pretty incredible.
Last Thursday I joined a few handfuls of parents for a full day at the school to transform the gym into a winter wonderland. We climbed ladders, hung cables and snowflakes and set up tables to make the gym not feel so gym-like. It's amazing what some creativity and great lighting will do!
The Art Show officially began at 6. Mike was coerced into serenading guests with his violin as they walked into the school building. It was nice touch.
After he was finished playing we got in line for some refreshments. There was an actual bar set up in the school gym serving beer and wine. IN the school.
I still just think it's pretty crazy to have a keg of beer flowing with a fellow PAC member serving to thirsty patrons. Crazy but lucrative!
I was put on "Napkin Beautification and Replenishment" detail for the first part of the evening.
Mike and our good friend Don were on "Hula Hooping" detail. One of the moms at the school hand makes weighted hula hoops and was selling them that night. Apparently, 1 hour of hooping is the equivalent to doing 1000 sit-ups. Lots of people gave them a go over the course of the evening.
Don may have had some creative technique....
.... but Mike had the stamina!
All hail Mike Penner - King of the Hoop!
There was live music...
.... and even the opportunity to do some people-watching and paparazzi-type shooting. Ellie's teacher from last year, who is now Sasha's teacher is seen below with her elusive fiance who I've heard a lot about over the past many months. The girls have always wanted to see what he looks like. Well, now we know! I even got to shake his hand!
Here's Hannah's teacher holding some art she's buying for parents who couldn't make it.
She's kind of awesome that way.
Mike was feeling kind of proud of his subtle photography skills.
But enough about us - here's what we came for - the ART!
If you're a school parent, you best be snapping up your child's art pieces pretty quick. Some of the art is purchased by general admirers. This can go two ways - your child may feel pretty amazing that their work was so good a complete stranger wanted to buy it. OR, they may be completely devastated. We don't want to find out which way it would go in our house, so we just buy it all up right off the hop.
The other money makers for the night are the Silent Auction, the Live Auction, and the selling of raffle tickets. I was recruited as a seller. I hate going up to people and putting them on the spot by asking if they want to buy tickets, so I just walked around with the tickets draped around my shoulders, hoping they'd get the hint...
Here are our friends, Heather and Don with school parent and former NHL'er Jack McIlhargey between them auctioning off some items for the Live Auction. Jack and Don had their schtick down perfectly.
Many local artists donated pieces for us to auction off.
Here are some other faces in the crowd. This is my friend Leanna. She lives across the street from us and her daughter Zoe is a special friend of Sasha's. Mike likes her partner Darren because he's a Packers fan. I like Leanna because she has a heart of gold and is the first Italian friend I've ever had that actually says "ciao" when saying goodbye. Like a real Italian.
Mike had his sharp-shooting skills in full force again when he shot this picture of Jack chatting with the former BC Premier Glen Clark. It just so happens that our school Librarian happens to be "Mrs. Clark".
One of the Silent Auction items was a pair of Canucks tickets donated by the McIlhargey family. Mike was in the running for them and found himself in a little contest with the former Premier....
Here's Mr. Clark sneakily upping his bid...
We played along until it got too rich for us and let them go.
We don't play games with the big boys.
When ten o'clock rolled around the doors closed, it was time to unwind and have a little fun after all of that hard work...
It was a great night - mostly because so many people came together to make it that way.
The final tally on revenue isn't in yet, but lots of money was raised for the school's art programs.
As of 10:30 this morning, the winter wonderland was dismantled and the gym was back in action. Amazing what a few parents can do when they believe in what the school offers their kids.