Ballard’s Spring Fling offers lollipops to goody walks

Published 6:26 pm Thursday, March 10, 2005

By By RANDI K. PICKLEY / Niles Daily Star
If you're in the mood for hot dogs, cotton candy, and lots of games, Ballard Elementary School in Niles is the place to be this Friday.
The Ballard PTO is hosting its annual Spring Fling from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Doors open at 5.
According to Mary Rouse, co-chairperson for the event, the carnival atmosphere of the Spring Fling is sure to lift your spirits, "even though it's not quite spring yet."
Rouse has two daughters at Ballard School, Lydia who is in second grade and Emily who is a sixth grader.
The main portion of the events will be housed mainly in the gymnasium and cafeteria. Each game or food item offered costs a ticket. Single tickets can be purchased for 25 cents or a group of five tickets can be purchased for one dollar.
The Spring Fling is manned entirely by volunteers. Both parents and teachers organize the activities and solicit donations from the Niles community to help keep the costs down. The event, Rouse mentions, "is for the whole family. It's very affordable." Older siblings often join in the games along with their younger brothers and sisters, according to Rouse. She adds, "The age range is from toddler on up. Each child should be able to do every activity."
Most of the games will be found in the gymnasium. And there is quite a variety to choose from, each offering a prize.
For the more active participants there is the Moon Bounce.
And much like those in the carnival, the high striker requires the use of a mallet to strike a target which then rings a bell. Hoop shoots allows would-be basketball stars to shoot baskets for prizes, and the golf challenge is for would-be Arnold Palmers.
For those who enjoy animals, there is a duck pond and a magnetic fishing game. The Froggy Fling game uses a mallet to hit a bug into a frog's mouth. And a special guest this year, the Balloon Guy, John Webb (known as Mr. Webb to the children) will create an animal out of balloons before right before you're eyes.
Helium filled balloons can also be purchased for one ticket.
Face painting is another popular booth at the Spring Fling. Bozo buckets, in which competitors stand behind a line and throw ping pong balls into buckets for prizes, is also another favorite.
Goody walks require the player to stand on a block which determines their prize by a color or number associated with it.
Along with the pop toss whose prize is a can of pop, the ring toss and bean bag toss are good for practicing coordination.
Also popular is the Sucker Tree, a game in which lollipops are selected for prizes, and the Treasure Chest, in which competitors sort through saw dust to find a key which may or may not open a treasure chest full of prizes. But even if the key doesn't fit, no one goes away empty handed, according to Rouse.
For the cost of a ticket, dog tags are also available which can be engraved at no cost.
A Basket Raffle is also offered in which participants place a bid by putting their tickets in a basket which matches a gift basket. The drawing for each gift basket will take place at 7 p.m. You do not need to be present to win.
In addition to the variety of games, the Spring Fling offers pizza, hot dogs, cotton candy and beverages in the cafeteria.
According to Rouse, a Book Fair will be available in the cafeteria as well, sponsored by the school's librarian, Mrs. Shearer.
Co-chairing with Krouse is Sharm Haimbaugh. Concessions are headed by Terry Merica and Michelle Slack.