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Date of Issue: November 04, 2009

Family fun at AME-PTO Fall Festival

Students from Anna Maria Elementary School transformed into witches, vampires and princesses to just name a few Oct. 31.

The annual AME Parent-Teacher Organization Fall Festival attracted a large turnout. A half hour after the start of the festival a line still existed to buy tickets for food and games.

PTO president Monica Simpson stayed busy selling tickets while the line kept growing. “This is pretty awesome, I’m impressed with the crowd that’s showed up. In my own opinion, we’ve had twice as many people show up as last year,” Simpson said.

For four hours, visitors enjoyed food, entertainment and all-around fun. This year’s Fall Festival included a rock-climbing wall, music, games, food and a haunted house.

As students wrapped up the costume contest and parade, many were heard chanting, “haunted house, haunted house.” The chants grew as they neared the auditorium, already transformed by volunteers for the occasion. The lights were left on at the beginning of the event to allow younger visitors to venture into the haunted house without fear of darkness and the goblins within.

“Every year the Fall Festival seems to get larger and larger,” said AME principal Tom Levengood. “The funny thing is the parents are having just as much fun as the kids.”

Kindergarten teacher Laura Redeker attended her first Fall Festival. “Its fantastic! I’m so excited — I was in a parade,” Redeker said.

Redeker wasn’t the only first-timer. Tani and Mike Melnick recently moved to Anna Maria Island with sons Caden and Colton. “This is awesome, we were both surprised and thrilled by the festival…. We’re living our dream,” Mike Melnick said.

And the Melnicks were surprised their kids won in their respective class costume contests.

The PTO will find out later this week how much money the Fall Festival raised.

And as the number of people who visit the Fall Festival continues to increase each year so will the memories. 

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