movie night theme parties

I'm currently recovering from hosting 2 back to back theme parties we auctioned off for our annual school auction. I always go back and forth on what to contribute to feel like we are doing our part for the school. They request an awful lot per child each year in September, this year it was $900 a child. This is so budget cuts don't affect anything at our school. We have never had to cut music, art, librarian, computer/science lab teachers. We still have aides in all the classes, and a few class reduction teachers to offset the LAUSD classroom size problem. But still, for us with 3 kids, that's almost three thousand dollars a year. I'm completely in support of this and whenever we have the funds, we contribute the max, but this year, with 3, that didn't happen. So we gave what we could in the fall, and then I try to make up for it throughout the year with all my volunteer time. Being a room parent for all 3 classes and an art docent in all 3 classes as well is kind of my second part time job, and I hope that it makes up for the difference.

But still I never quite felt like that alone was enough. I mean I want to be in my kids' classes and participate in the planning and organizing of the room acitivities. We also go to the school auction every single year and my parents join us for that. I donate to the auction a facial each year and items to put in the gift baskets, but this year I decided something bigger should be done since I have 3 kids attending the school. This is where I decided to host a few theme parties. Our school auction does a great job in this department. A family or families can host a party, be it for adults only, kids only, or entire families, and then other families pay for a spot to attend that party. The hosting family pays for the expenses of the party and then all the money that was paid for the spots goes to the school. Since I couldn't have just one theme party since my kids are spread throughout 3 grades, I decided to have two. 

Friday night we had 20 2nd-4th graders (plus my 3) over for movie night where we watched The Adventures of Tin Tin, and Saturday night we had 15 kindergartners (plus my 3 plus 1 extra) where we watched Despicable Me. We set up the projector and wrapped a white sheet over a big board of plywood, pretty simple and awesome screen. Then I created a little concession stand with goodies like Honest Kids drinks, water bottles, fresh popped popcorn, pirate booty, and lots and lots of sweet treats like Milk Duds, Junior Mints, and Mike and Ikes. After the movie we passed out glowsticks and then it was time for the kids to get picked up. I think the kids had a blast, and I'm exhausted. I believe those are the signs of success. Because of the rain Friday we moved the concession stand inside, but for Saturday the weather was beautiful so we made use of our little outdoor stand. Drop off went smooth and I just plugged cell phone numbers into my iphone along with any allergies and then 2 hours later, parents came to retrieve their kids. I only have one sad kidlet on Saturday night who had never seen Despicable Me, so he sat on my lap with his ring pop and all was made right in the world. 

I'm happy to say that we were sold out for both parties, in fact I even got a call the day of to see if we could squeeze one more child in and she'd make a post auction donation to the school. Who can say no? So between these two evenings we were able to raise $900 for the school! It's a great idea for school auctions and fundraisers. I highly recommend theme parties if your school doesn't already do them. Some other ideas I've seen at the auction are:

For kids or adult/kid combo:

Pretzel making parties

Baking parties

Mommy and me tea party

Color Me Mine/Pottery painting

Car racing parties

Bounce house parties

Hiking and snacks

Tidepooling and snacks

For adults only:

Roaring 20s parties

Fiesta Night/Taco Stand

Progressive Dinner party

Food truck party

The theme parties alone bring in I think close to $30,000 for our school auction, and this is at no cost to the school whatsoever. The hosting party can make it as big and elaborate as they want, or as simple and easy as well. Between the two evenings we only had to purchase the concession treats and drinks, popcorn kernels and glowsticks, which came to under $140. Not bad. 

Here's a couple Instagrams from the two evenings.