The forecast called for a chance of rain on May 16. Nervous event coordinators watched weather apps and looked skyward all day. Sparse clouds rolled overhead, a slight wind ruffled the grass, but the rain never showed up. It was a perfect evening to be outside; a perfect time for Minter Moves.
As soon as the dismissal bell rang and students were on the buses, volunteers bustled on the playground and field of Minter Creek Elementary. Stations were set up, tents raised, items arranged for the auction and raffle, tables placed, the field prepped for running, and balloons waved to guide families into the event.
The balloons were just one way to notice something was taking place at Minter. The smell of Murph’s BBQ grabbed at hungry stomachs and the freshly made popcorn created an atmosphere of walking at a county fair. Wisps of cotton candy escaped on the breeze, which made excited Minter kindergartener Brooke Bruno exclaim that “the blue cotton candy is the best!”
After the event opened at 4:30 p.m., a line quickly queued behind the much talked about dunk tank. Principal Ty Robuck started on the drop-away seat and second-grader Greyson Hockmuth was one of the first to send him into the water. Jeff Stafki, Bruce Clarke, and Joran Henderson –– all teachers at Minter –– also spent time on the “wet seat.”
There were several booths staffed by community businesses and volunteers as well. Key Pen Parks, the YMCA, Kohl’s, State Farm; and others were present. There was face painting, mini putt-putt golf and other family activities. Community volunteer and former Minter parent Tami Miller-Bigelow noted how this “was such a great way to bring family fun and community together while raising money for the school.”
Part of the fundraising portion of Minter Moves was a raffle and silent auction. Event goers were able to choose from baskets of items donated from Horseshoe Lake, The Family Fun Center, The Seattle Storm and many more. Silent auction items ranged from original art made by Minter students to tickets from the UW Huskies, Rainiers and Seahawks (among others).
Milling through the crowd were Minter teachers, parents, students, and even some distinguished guests. Local medic units brought their truck for young and old alike to climb in to look. The police bomb squad also had a truck on site with all the robotics and gear. The Rainiers mascot Rhubarb slapped high-fives and posed for pictures with excited families.
Students who collected pledges and flat donations spent time burning calories and raising money on the lower field. Red and smiling faces continually moved up and down the hill between the field and playground to use tickets earned running laps at the booths.
According to Maria Finch, PTA president and one of the event coordinators, Minter students ran 286.2 miles at the event. The average number of laps per jogger was 10.45 and fifth grader Finn Padberg had the most laps at 50. Although there are some pledges still outstanding, Finch says the total raised so far is $9,196.09, which is extremely close to the $10,000 goal.
After attending the event, Minter secretary Joyce Shinn commented how great the event was and extended a big “thank you to our fabulous Minter Creek Elementary PTA and to all the wonderful, hard-working volunteers and sponsors.” Finch and fellow coordinator Matt Kusche are hoping to make Minter Moves an annual event.