The West Liberty Community School District's Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) is going bigger and better for the 2014 Back 2 School Bash on Saturday, Aug. 9.
The bash will include free swimming, food, carnival games, inflatables, a dunk tank and many other features at Kimberly Park from 1-5 p.m.
After last year's success, the PTO wanted to expand upon the bash. For a second year in a row it's attempting to throw a memorable school kickoff party.
"This year is going to be even bigger than last year, we've had a lot of local people step up and volunteer their time, their services, their goods and their money," said PTO President Melissa Stagg, "This community never ceases to amaze me."
With two daughters in the WLCSD, she's been involved with PTO for several years. However, the opportunity to expand upon the traditional "Meet the Teacher" school kickoff night was one of circumstance.
Last year PTO became involved with the Chip Shoppe for the fall fundraiser. The Shoppe has a side company, the Big Blast, that does inflatables and carnival games.
As part of the PTO's contract with the Chip Shoppe it was given access to the inflatable business, so the PTO decided to take advantage of the opportunity and expand upon its back to school event.
"Last year we were kind of getting our feet wet, seeing if anyone would show up," she added. "This year we did a lot more with fundraising and sending letters out to local businesses. We were amazed."
There will be five to six food vendors, an inflatable obstacle course and bouncy house, corn hole will be set up along with additional games and, of course, the dunk tank will return.
Students will have a chance to dunk teachers and faculty with the throw of a ball. Any money raised by the tank will go to the school from which the person being dunked works.
"It really is just a day for the kids to kind of have that one last big hurrah together before school starts," said Stagg.
Stagg added that the event helps students get ready for the school year. She's invited as many teachers as possible, so that students can get acquainted with the school and its teachers.
Also, she hopes to hand out school gear through prizes earned from the games and events. It's also a time for friends to reconnect.
Essentially, the Back 2 School Bash is also a fundraiser. Any of the money the PTO raises that doesn't go towards funding the bash will go right back to the schools. Also, several of the vendors, such as the local Boy Scouts, will be selling food.
The bash is a community event, not just for students of WLCSD. Stagg would like to see more people from beyond just West Liberty.
"Anyone that is, any shape or form, associated with the school district," said. "If you have a kid there, if you work there, if you pay taxes toward the school you can come."
She emphasized that the bash is not exclusive, and would like to extend an invitation to the residents of Atalissa and Nichols as well.
"I feel like a lot of the time when we talk about the West Liberty school so much of the focus is on West Liberty, but there's so many kids that don't live in West Liberty that are a part of our schools," she said.
Only in its second year, the Back 2 School Bash has a lot to prove. However, it may just turn into one of West Liberty's main events as the years go on.
The Back 2 School Bash returnsJacob Lane · Wednesday, July 30, 2014