ORLANDO There was an abundance of school spirit at the Orlando Eye on Friday, Dec. 9 as it lit up in Windermere Elementary’s Mustang blue and gold. Dozens of elementary-school students and their families came out for the event that celebrated the PTA’s hugely successful annual fundraiser.
Over the last several weeks, students have been tasked with asking family and friends for donations. The goal was to raise $35,000.
“We said that if we reached that goal, we would have a big celebration,” said PTA president Michaal Rossi.
More than 350 families made donations to the fundraiser, resulting in $37,000 raised for the PTA.
“Parents and families are so committed to seeing that Windermere Elementary children are the best,” said Assistant Principal Dr. Ethel Wellington-Trawick. “They jump on board to make things happen.”
Every year, the PTA spends about $35,000 on various programs, and surpassing their fundraising goal means they will be able to continue their work with both the students and the teachers, Rossi said.
“We are lucky to have as much parent involvement as we have,” Rossi said. “Parents can see that their involvement directly impacts their kids, so why wouldn’t they do it?”
Some of the PTA’s programs include accelerated reader, a book fair, a learning garden and regular newsletters for parents. Currently, about 140 parents have volunteered to participate in the PTA.
“It’s the backbone of the school,” Principal Diana Greer said.
A select few families raised more than $500 for the PTA’s fundraiser and were given a VIP treatment during the celebration at the Orlando Eye. The group was treated to cake, snacks and a ride on the 400-foot-tall ferris wheel.
“It was amazing,” Wellington-Trawick said about her ride. “We got to the top, and everyone started singing Christmas carols. It was a beautiful peak of the season - a sense of oneness.”
Even Windermere Mayor Gary Bruhn came out to the event.
“We try to support all their events that we can,” he said, after enjoying a ride on the Orlando Eye himself. “We have a great relationship with them.”
Contact Brittany Gaines at [email protected].