Church seeks funds for elementary school festival

A Seymour elementary school principal recently asked the corporation’s board of education for permission to accept a donation of kindness from a local church.

Margaret R. Brown Elementary School Principal Tony Hack told the board that First Baptist Church of Seymour approached him at the end of last year to see if they could help the school with any post-COVID student activities.

“They have come up with the opportunity where their membership is going to provide workers and they’re also going to provide food, drinks and cover the cost of prizes and activities,” Hack said. “So I can’t request that we accept the donation of a certain amount of money but overall kindness from First Baptist Church.”

He said the fall festival at Brown Elementary has never been considered a fundraiser. It’s a family event that will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. Oct. 28 just for Brown students, their families, school employees and staff members.

“With their help and the opportunity provided by First Baptist and with their folks working the stands, our teachers and staff will have a chance to interact with our kids in a different way,” Hack said. “We hope to continue to build those relationships.”

He said if all goes as planned, the church is hoping to cover all of the school’s costs. Then any extra money raised from the festival will go toward the school’s fundraising efforts for the year.

Deryk Baurle of First Baptist Church met with the administrators of Brown to discuss plans about the festival.

Baurle said there are two church members he knows of who teach at the school. They are his wife, Jill Baurle, and Justin Kelley.

“Brown Elementary doesn’t really have a PTO (parent teacher organization) just because of the socioeconomic region they’re in. Plus, they are so diverse and over 400 students of whom English is not their first language,” he said. “Jill and I have had conversations about how having some extracurricular school activities falls on the teachers, like the school’s fall festival, which hasn’t taken place since 2018, and we thought it’d be good to help.”

Baurle is on the board of missions and evangelism at First Baptist, and he brought the idea up to board chairman Doug Ewing, Lead Pastor Jeremy Myers and the rest of the board. They agreed that helping the school would be a good outreach.

“Our volunteers will facilitate the games, and we agreed to provide the meal, so the school will sell tickets for the meals and for the games,” Baurle said. “We will be providing 500 hamburgers and 500 hot dogs, 1,000 small bags of chips and 1,000 small drinks. The church will provide prizes for the games, as well, and we’re going to provide the baked items for the cake walk they’ll have, too.”

Baurle said the church is seeking volunteers from the congregation, and they will have background checks performed. Also, the church is asking for monetary donations from members and from the community, as the food and drinks for the meals will cost around $1,800.

“They are expecting around 1,000 people for this event, so that’s 1,000 meals needed for Brown Elementary students and their families,” Baurle said. “It’s going to be a really big deal for them.”

Any financial contributions will help offset the meals, prizes and other costs.

Donations can either be dropped into the offering basket on Sunday morning, brought to the church office between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday or mailed to the church. Note on your check or envelope that it is for the Brown fall festival. The address is First Baptist Church, 505 Community Drive, Seymour, IN 47274.

For information, call the church office at 812-522-1909 or email [email protected].