by: RITA A. LEONARD - Llewellyn fifth grader Jack Grigsby raises funds for the planned class camping trip. Two Holiday Bazaars held November 16 were successful in raising funds for local elementary schools.

In Westmoreland, Llewellyn Elementary School’s 7th annual Holiday Market helped support overnight camping trips for fourth and fifth graders, while in the Creston-Kenilworth neighborhood, Creston School’s first Holiday Bazaar netted funds for classroom and playground equipment.

The Llewellyn Holiday Market was initially scheduled for December 7, but was moved back to November 16th to avoid a conflict with the Sellwood Westmoreland Business Alliance’s plans for their “Decemberville” promotion on the same date. Llewellyn’s co-chairman Julie Toporowski commented that the heavy traffic of that promotion might have made it hard for people to park near the school.

“We also planned for high quality crafters here, and decided to allow kid crafters to assist their parents,” she told THE BEE. “It’s a great learning experience for them, and lots of parents thanked us for the arrangement.”

A bake sale in Llewellyn’s lobby raised funds for a fourth grade overnight field trip to an Oregon Trail campground. One teacher revealed there were four fourth grade classrooms at the crowded school this year. “We’re not sure yet which camp they'll attend, but possibly Milk Creek Camp out of Mollala," he said.

The fifth grade class raised funds for a three-day overnight trip to Camp Namanu next spring. “It’s similar to Outdoor School, and the kids learn a lot about science there,” commented one parent. Fifth grade students sold Chinook Books, cupcakes, and iced pretzels for this.

Some fifty other crafters gathered in gym and halls, selling a variety of items, including jewelry, cool-weather and baby clothing, duct-tape neckties and bracelets, coasters, kitchen and hair accessories, and the ever-popular PVC pipe “marshmallow launcher”. Free gift-wrapping was offered in the main hall.

Creston School’s first Holiday Bazaar was a resounding success. Held in the front hall and cafeteria, the event featured over 30 craft tables, with a group that sponsors the Boys Basketball Team selling coffee, donuts, hot dogs, chili, and pizza. Bazaar chairman Nicole Poole sat at a table full of colorful blank note cards painted by first and second graders for the event.

“We also invited a pet adoption team from Hannah, The Pet Society, she said. "We thought the kids would like that.” Visitors were delighted to cuddle the fuzzy Bichon Frise dogs in a fenced enclosure. “It was a lot of work, but it came together great,” said Poole. “The community is so supportive of this school.”

Creston’s sales tables included art, doll quilts, tote bags, jellies, soaps, horse paintings, gift packs, and “Windowsill Gardens”. Discount T-shirts were sold, promoting Friends of Portland Community Gardens. A Holiday tree near the entrance offered student-made ornaments, sold by three jolly PTA ladies. The 365 students at Creston Elementary can be thankful that their PTA organized a vibrant event.

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