Organisers of Whangaparāoa School’s annual gala were keeping their fingers firmly crossed last week that Covid-19 restrictions would not see their major fundraiser cancelled for the second time in two years.
Last year, the country went into full level 4 lockdown just three days before the gala was due to take place, denying the school tens of thousands of dollars in funds – the last gala in 2019 raised $33,000.
This year’s event is scheduled for this Saturday, March 20 from 10.45am to 2pm in the school grounds at 39 Ladies Mile and a full gamut of attractions has been planned, from stalls, games and sideshows to non-stop live music, dance and entertainment.
New this year is the Sustainability Challenge, a scavenger hunt-style competition designed by Year 5 and 6 students for teams of children and adults to find clues and complete environmental and recycling-themed tasks.
Elsewhere, kids can vent any frustrations on the Dunk a Teacher stall, or test their chocolate detection skills with a 30-second stint in the Easter Egg Hunt tent. The ever-popular cake stall will be back, selling competition-winning bakes, whole cakes, cupcakes, slices and more, or there’s Café & Pie for those needing a sit-down.
Other food options include mussel fritters, bacon and egg baps, a sausage sizzle, nachos, sushi, kai pasifika, candyfloss, cold drinks, hot chips and a coffee cart.
There is a wide range of kids’ games and activities, from soccer shots and Nerf to bean bag and teddy tosses, plus a special under fives’ area with a mini bouncy castle and water play.
Bargain hunters can check out stalls selling secondhand toys, uniform and toy cars, as well as local honey, roses, beeswax wraps and slime.
Providing on-stage entertainment will be Whangaparāoa Primary and Kindy kapa haka groups, the Hibiscus Coast Concert Band, Infinity Cheerleading, the school choir, Northern School of Performing Arts musical troupe, DaeHan TaeKwonDo, Whangaparāoa College Jazz Band and Choir, and Hibiscus Tuakana.
There will also be visits from the Saving Hope animal rescue, Coastguard Hibiscus, Manly Volunteer Fire Brigade and SOSSI.
Most of the proceeds will go towards the school hall refurbishment, which still needs another $80,000 before it can re-open.
Info: Whangaparāoa School Gala on Facebook.