Wiley spring carnival returns to Utica High School

By: Kara Szymanski | Shelby - Utica News | Published April 9, 2018

 UTICA — The Wiley Coyote parent volunteers, from Wiley Elementary School, will start off their spring by hosting their annual Wiley spring carnival fundraiser April 20 at Utica High School.

UTICA — The Wiley Coyote parent volunteers, from Wiley Elementary School, will start off their spring by hosting their annual Wiley spring carnival fundraiser April 20 at Utica High School.

Photo provided by Tara Powrozek

UTICA — The Wiley Coyote parent volunteers, from Wiley Elementary School, will start off their spring by hosting their annual Wiley spring carnival fundraiser April 20 at Utica High School.

The carnival is open to everyone and will take place from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the main gym and cafeteria at the high school, located at 47255 Shelby Road in Utica, just across the street from Wiley Elementary.

Admission to the event is free, but tickets can be bought to play the games and purchase food.

This is the 10th year the Wiley Coyote parent volunteers will be hosting the carnival in Utica. Over those 10 years, the carnival has seen a lot of growth.

“Wiley’s spring carnival started as just a small carnival that we could fit inside Wiley Elementary. Over the past 10 years, it has expanded more than anyone could have imagined. Now we have to host it at Utica High School just to be able to fit everything,” said Tara Powrozek, the Wiley parent volunteer group president.

“The carnival runs like a well-oiled machine thanks to the awesome volunteers. There are chair people that take care of different parts of the carnival, but it takes a ton of parent volunteers to make it run smoothly. Our teachers even take a shift to help out,” Powrozek added.

The carnival will include games, carnival food, a cake walk, prizes, bounce houses, raffles themed by grades, face painting, a photo booth, balloon animals and much more.

Children can turn in the stamps that they get by playing each game at the prize table throughout the night to pick out a prize. No one goes home empty-handed at the event.

One of the biggest attractions at the carnival will be the raffle baskets. The baskets will be grade-themed from kindergarten through sixth grade, and tickets will cost $1 each or six for $5. Some of the themes will be art lovers, camping crazy, movies and munchies, s’mores and barbecue pit, summer fun, and Cedar Point.

Each item in the raffle baskets was a donation.

Winners for the raffle baskets do not need to be present to win their prizes.  

“I have been partnering with a few others (of the volunteer group) to run the carnival for a few years. I am lucky enough to volunteer with a dedicated group of parents to pull this off each year. It is a wonderful night to see the Wiley families and staff come together to have a night out of fun. All net proceeds go right back to Wiley, and I am proud to be a part of this amazing community.” said Jennifer Zbytowski, a co-chair of the carnival.

The Wiley Coyote parent volunteer group has used the proceeds from the annual carnival to purchase educational classroom materials; to bring in Science Alive, which is a Michigan science education organization that brings in live animals; to hold a sixth-grade graduation; and to provide recess equipment, to name a few projects.

“This is our biggest and most anticipated event of the year. Everyone loves it,” said Powrozek.

The Wiley Coyote parent volunteers are a nonprofit organization made up of members of the community who meet the first Wednesday of every month in the Wiley Elementary School media center. The group organizes, promotes and supports activities that encourage parents, students, staff and building administrators to be active and involved in the Wiley Elementary School community.

There are three main chairs for this event — Zbytowski, Kristine Lang and Tracy Orlowski — who make the carnival possible with the help of parents and students in the Utica community.

For more information about the spring carnival or the volunteer group, call (586) 797-6755 or find it on Facebook.