Westfield Families Celebrate Fall at Franklin School's Pumpkin Fair
Saturday, October 26, 2013 • 7:17pm
WESTFIELD, NJ – Children and parents from around town celebrated the fall season at the Franklin Elementary School Parent Teacher Association's annual Pumpkin Fair Oct. 26 with games, creepy crafts and goodies of all kinds.
Against blue skies and crisp breezes, families enjoyed face painting, jumping in inflatable bounce houses, decorating pumpkins and more during the organization's long-standing fundraiser.
“It’s a magical day for the kids,” said Dana Richter, president of Franklin’s PTO.
Seven year-old Emerson Lezynski said her favorite part of the day so far was getting a prize goldfish from the ever-popular game of tossing a ping pong ball into a water-filled glass vase.
“My brother won it for me,” said the Franklin first grader, proudly holding up the fish swimming in a clear plastic bag. She added that she planned to name her new pet Notre Dame because she and her family are fans of the school.
Emerson’s mom, Kelly Lezynski, was having fun seeing familiar faces at the fair.
“I’ve seen tons of friends and teachers,” she said.
Visitors also browsed the display of 29 gift baskets that were to be given away in the raffle that is the centerpiece of the fair. Parents from each class prepared a themed basket of donated items. All proceeds are returned to the classroom teacher to use as needed, according to Susan Francis, who co-chaired the event.
The Pumpkin Fair is one of Franklin’s biggest fundraisers. Money raised from the fair can be used for general improvements to the school, technology in the classroom or “whatever is on the teachers’ wish list,” Francis noted.
“I think this is one of the few fundraisers in our community that draws people from all the schools,” she said. “And it’s a family event.”
Franklin is home to about 600 students, and Francis estimated that as many as 1,500 visitors could attend the fair on Saturday. About 200 volunteers planned, organized, set up and worked the event.
Another popular game of the day was the cookie walk, a version of musical chairs in which each participant whose number is drawn from a hat wins a dinner-plate sized cookie.
“It’s a fan favorite because someone always walks away with a cookie,” said Richter.