The longest line at the Hillsboro Elementary School carnival Friday at the Marion County fairgrounds wasn’t for the trampoline, ring toss, or the trolley. The biggest attraction for current and former HES students was the dunk tank.
At times more than 20 students stood in line for the chance to send principal Evan Yoder plunging into the water. He was fine with the frequent soaking, knowing every ticket sold raised money to refurbish the school’s playground.
“Our playground needs to get rehabilitated, and we’ve got some parents who are particularly motivated to get this going,” Yoder said. “We’ve done carnivals in the past, most recently it was probably five or six years ago.”
The carnival, which started at 6 p.m., took place in and around the 4-H building. For the better part of two hours, parents and children walked and stood shoulder-to-shoulder as they took advantage of the many different games and activities offered.
“This is a good time to do it before all the high school and middle school athletics get started,” Yoder said.
The school had plenty of helpers staging the carnival, among them volunteers from the Tabor College women’s basketball team and Hillsboro High School FFA. Hillsboro Kiwanis Club provided food service.
Counselor Mike Moran spelled Yoder by taking a turn in the dunk tank, but Yoder was soon ready to get back in.
“I’m getting cold now, I want to get back in just to get dunked again,” Yoder said.
Yoder termed the carnival a “big success.”
“We’ve done a lot of carnivals over the years, but this one one of the better money-raisers that I’ve been involved in,” Yoder said. “We had a lot of private donations, and some of those are still coming in.”
New playground equipment will cost between $50,000 and $70,000, Yoder estimated.
“It’s not cheap. We’ve got a lot of these to do,” Yoder said. “Money’s tough to come by with school financing. We’ll do the best we can. Hopefully we’ll get it done before these kids are seniors.”