Park Scholars Organize Annual Family Carnival

Park Scholars once again teamed up to volunteer at the annual Ithaca College Family Carnival held Friday evening at the Ithaca College Fitness Center. But this year was different. This time, a group of Park Scholars took charge of planning and organizing the entire event as a group service project.

Every year, the carnival provides an opportunity for staff and other members of the Ithaca College community to bring their children to a fun, family-friendly atmosphere to raise money for a good cause. Approximately 300 people attended the carnival this year. All proceeds from the event were donated to the United Way Stone Soup Philanthropy Corp., a student service organization at Ithaca College.

Senior Park Scholars Joyeta Basu and Norah Shipman coordinated the group service project.

“We organized the entire family carnival,” Shipman said. “We met every couple weeks. It was Joyeta and I who figured out what we’d split everything into and delegated to different group members.”

Group members purchased supplies, found volunteers, arranged entertainment and organized activities geared toward children. This year, the group also held a raffle to increase donations since space restrictions limited the number of people that could be admitted to the carnival.

“This was a way to bring in more money,” Shipman said. “We went to local businesses, which worked out great, and we had seven businesses that gave gift certificates. People could put in a dollar to purchase a raffle ticket.”

The raffle raised more than $100.

All Park Scholars were able to join in on the fun, leading kids in activities like slime making, balloon animals, a football toss, hula-hoop and face painting. The kids had their say in which balloon animal they wanted and were even able to decorate their homemade slime. Ithaca College Thai Kwon Doe and the Ithaca College Dance Team performed. 

Freshman Park Scholar Qina Liu said she enjoyed working and bonding with upperclassmen Park Scholars at her first family carnival.

“I thought it was a really fun get-together of the community,” Liu said. “I was working at the coloring station, and some of the parents were like, ‘this is a really great thing you’re doing.’”

For Shipman, who’s nearing graduation, this year’s carnival was her favorite, and a great note to end on.

“I thought it was a great success,” she said. “There were a lot more people than I expected to come. I didn’t remember their being as many people in the past.”

Shipman said she hopes the carnival continues to grow as a Park Scholar project in future years. The carnival has evolved each year since it began.

“It was a good atmosphere,” Liu said. “Just watching all the kids playing, and being a part of that, and making someone else happy, was rewarding.”

By Matt Wright



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