Dunking for schools!

Crowds jam downtown for Saturday night carnival to raise money needed for Pleasanton education programs

Hundreds jammed downtown streets Saturday night for the "I Love Pleasanton Schools" carnival and fundraiser sponsored by downtown merchants, restaurants and the Pleasanton Downtown Association.

Clearly, a highlight of the street fair was the dunking tank set up in the Round Table Pizza parking lot where Pleasanton school Supt. John Casey, Mayor Jennifer Hosterman and a number of school principals found themselves repeatedly dunked as students, teachers and many others threw balls that often hit their target marker, dumping the volunteers into a water-filled tank.

Adding insult to injury, Mohr Elementary School Prinicipal Robin Sehrt looked out of the dunking cage to see her own daughter Kylie, 7, taking a sharp aim at the target, then a big splash as Sehrt fell into the water. Getting back up on the dunking seat, Sehrt then saw teachers doing the same, but all in good spirits to help the ILPS fundraiser.

During the 5-to-9 p.m. carnival, families walked Main Street and many of the side streets where booths were set up that offered face painting, balloon animals and puppet shows, plus many tables of food being sold by restaurants along the sidewalks. Teenagers found their fun at technology-related activities such as a "text-off" and video games.

Each game required tickets to play, with tickets on sale for $1 or $20 for unlimited play wristbands. Those were available at Clover Creek, Sincerely Yours Cards and Gifts, Towne Center Books, Savvy Seconds, Gourmet Works, Murphy's Paw, Your Stage Toys, Stork's Nest and Pans on Fire.

A number of merchants are also donating a portion of their profits made during the carnival to the ILPS campaign.

The effort was the last major fundraising campaign organized under the auspices of the Pleasanton Partnerships in Education (PPIE) and Pleasanton Schools Educational Enrichment (PSEE) foundations to salvage some of the educational programs cut by the school board because of state budget cuts for education and the failure of the Measure G parcel tax proposal in June.

The goal of the campaign, launched June 15, is $2.8 million, although only slightly more than $300,000 had been raised before Saturday night's carnival.

"Many of the merchants were open Saturday night and will donate a portion of their sales receipts to the campaign," said Melanie Sadek, owner of Murphy's Paw who also helped organize the street fair. "We'll collect all those donations as well as the receipts from the carnival ticket sales and the PPIE will report Monday how much it earned."

Money raised in the summer-long findraising effort, if the $2.8 million goal is reached, would continue the following programs for the 2009-10 year: class-size reduction at a 20 students to 1 teacher ratio, reading specialists and counselors, elementary strings and band programs.

-Emily West

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Like this comment
Posted by it takes a village
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Aug 8, 2009 at 9:36 pm

Kudos to all tonight for a fun family evening for all. And to all the parents that give of their time and moeny so that ALL students benefit.

Like this comment
Posted by dissapointed in the mayor
a resident of Stoneridge
on Aug 8, 2009 at 11:06 pm

extreamly dissapointed by the mayor tonight of bailing on the dunk tank with 10-15 more minutes to go on her 20 minute shift. She left kids standing in line waiting while the organizers scrambled to find someone to step in before the next person. It was for only 20 minutes, Chris Grant was up there for 45 minutes with no complaints! Suck it up Mayor or don't participate at all.

Like this comment
Posted by Too bad
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 8, 2009 at 11:22 pm

Too bad Mayor Moon Beam can't get layed off...

Maybe she'd understand why it was important to so many to have a united front as a City working for our community.

So the mayor goes, so goes the city.

Thanks for flaking out Mayor Hostermann.

Like this comment
Posted by Wait!
a resident of Downtown
on Aug 8, 2009 at 11:31 pm

If you have done one of these dunk tanks, you would know it is very easy to get hurt! Before you judge, wait for an explanation, Please!

Like this comment
Posted by Rick
a resident of Parkside
on Aug 9, 2009 at 10:31 am

Great evening. Had our grandsons here for the event, and they had a blast. From the 'fishing' booths, to the button making, to the putting green....and more.

The foothill cheerleaders did a great job of helping the little ones toss a football through the circle. I really appreciate them heling the boys out and they were tickled to death to be able to tell us they "made it through"!

Kudos to all who put on the event...and my thanks to all the businesses that participated, and all the families and individuals that turned out for the fundraiser.

Great time!

Like this comment
Posted by Linda
a resident of Downtown
on Aug 9, 2009 at 7:05 pm

Thank you, everyone, who participated! It was a great event showing the spirit of this great community - and even though it was for our schools, the Mayor was there! I love this town.

Like this comment
Posted by Mommy of 4
a resident of Del Prado
on Aug 10, 2009 at 10:19 am

Our family had a great time! This should be an annual event! My 1 suggestion would be to close down the street next time. It was very hard to squeeze through the sidewalks with a stoller.


Like this comment
Posted by Peter
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 10, 2009 at 10:52 am

To "dissapointed in the mayor" (spellcheck!) and "too bad."

Easy on the mayor...she broke her toe! She was a good sport and everyone should be supportive. I'm guessing you both are the "glass is half empty" types. Try being positive for once! This was a GREAT fun-filled event for a good cause. We are lucky to have such a great city and downtown!

Like this comment
Posted by Middle School Mom
a resident of Amador Estates
on Aug 11, 2009 at 9:26 am

Kudos for the organizers and the volunteers, it was a great event and the weather was just perfect!
I was kind of disappointed, that the school teachers and administrators did not show up! Yes, some of them don't leave here in Pleasanton, but this event was for their jobs,paychecks or to increase their hours.
I think they should be participating and donating at least their time during our pleasanton events. Iam sure our goal campaign by this time would have half way.

Like this comment
Posted by Parent
a resident of Amador Estates
on Aug 11, 2009 at 1:20 pm

Middle school Mom,
How do know that the teachers and administrators weren't there?

Like this comment
Posted by Teacher
a resident of Mohr Park
on Aug 11, 2009 at 6:03 pm

I'm a teacher. I was there. I saw many of my colleagues there. I've also donated and fundraised - I don't have kids in the district and I don't live in the district. It is a group effort.

Great job ILPS volunteers. We appreciate your hard work!

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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