WHS hosts first Fall Fest

The Ambler Gazette - - LETTERS - By Jodi Ben­jamin

Jour­nal Reg­is­ter News Ser­vice

For the last two years, mem­bers of the Wis­sahickon High School tele­vi­sion pro­duc­tion club, WTV, en­ter­tained lo­cal young­sters by con­vert­ing their stu­dio and two class­rooms into a ghoul­ish de­light — WKH HDunWHG HDOOV. TKLV fiHnGLVK EuW NLGfriendly fun was the brain­child of An­drew Her­bert, a cur­rent high school se­nior and WTV co-pres­i­dent, whose late Oc­to­ber birthday makes him a Hal­loween en­thu­si­ast.

While Prin­ci­pal Lyn Fields sup­ported the Haunted Halls, she en­vi­sioned some­thing big­ger, some­thing much big­ger — a fall event that in­volved the en­tire high school. This vi­sion was re­al­ized Satur­day, Oct. 20, WKrRuJK :LVVDKLFNRn HLJK 6FKRRO’V firVW Fall Fest.

Fall Fest trans­formed the football sta­dium into a community fair, with stu­dent mu­si­cians en­ter­tain­ing throughout the day and more than 40 stu­dent or­ga­ni­za­tions of­fer­ing dif­fer­ent kid-friendly ac­tiv­i­ties.

In ad­di­tion to dec­o­rat­ing pump­kins and caramel coat­ing ap­ples, fes­ti­val­go­ers FRuOG SODnW flRwHrV wLWK WKH HRrWLFuOWurH Club, make friend­ship bracelets with Amnesty In­ter­na­tional, per­form stunts with the cheer­lead­ers, tie-dye T-shirts with the Am­bas­sadors Club, make trick-or-treat bags with the Fu­ture Teach­ers of Amer­ica DnG DnDOyzH WKHLr Rwn finJHrSrLnWV DW WKH foren­sics ta­ble. Adults could also browse the ven­dor tables while their chil­dren enMRyHG D YLVLW IrRP WKH firH­fiJKWHrV DnG WKH K-9 unit.

Four-year-old Ryan Houghton — with a Hal­loween bat painted on his cheek and Cap­tain Amer­ica tat­tooed on his hand — rHSHDWHGOy wKDFNHG EDOOV LnWR WKH fiHOG KRFNHy nHWV VHW uS Rn WKH IRRWEDOO fiHOG for bud­ding ath­letes.

“The weather was awe­some,” Ryan’s fa­ther, John Houghton, a teacher at Wis­sahickon Mid­dle School, said. “It was an en­joy­able day for ev­ery­one — kids and DGuOWV. ,W’V WKH firVW WLPH WKHy GLG LW, DnG I’m look­ing for­ward to com­ing again next year. It’s been a great day.”

Par­tic­u­larly thank­ful for the de­light­ful weather was As­so­ciate Prin­ci­pal Tom An­drze­jew­ski, who was re­peat­edly drenched in the Fall Fest dunk tank.

In ad­di­tion to the events in the sta­dium, there was a rock-climb­ing wall, karaoke and other ac­tiv­i­ties — in­clud­ing the Haunted Halls — in the high school it­self. Vis­i­tors to the Haunted Halls re­ceived a guided tour of Count Drac­ula’s man­sion, cour­tesy of the WTV Club, with the fright level mod­er­ated to the age of the guests.

Al­though Fall Fest was con­ceived of as an event for chil­dren, Satur­day’s fes­ti­val was ac­tu­ally well pop­u­lated with high school students.

“There are more high school­ers than I expected, but that’s good be­cause it in­volved the whole school,” Matt Wecht, WTV trea­surer, said.

While Fall Fest was a school­wide ef­fort, WTV as­sumed the pri­mary lead­er­ship role, es­pe­cially club Co-Pres­i­dents Liz Mor­ris and Her­bert and club Vice Pres­i­dent Adam Jarvis.

Af­ter hav­ing stayed late ev­ery day and hav­ing skipped lunch and study halls for a month, Mor­ris said, “[Or­ga­niz­ing Fall )HVW] wDV GHfinLWHOy H[FLWLnJ. 0y PRP is a project en­gi­neer for Boe­ing, and she or­ga­nizes meet­ings and projects all the time. I re­ally ap­pre­ci­ate what she does now. Mrs. Brasch is al­ways or­ga­niz­ing things too; she’s in­cred­i­ble.”

A teacher in the high school’s tech­nol­ogy ed­u­ca­tion depart­ment, Jes­sica Brasch is the WTV fac­ulty ad­viser. With a witch’s hat perched on her head and a per­sis­tent cackle, Brasch jet­ted around Fall Fest as if she were ac­tu­ally pro­pelled Ey D fly­LnJ ErRRPVWLFN.

De­spite Brasch’s sup­port, Fall Fest was a stu­dent-driven event. Students or­ga­nized and staffed the ac­tiv­i­ties. They se­cured the ven­dors and event spon­sors, which in­cluded Chyten Ed­u­ca­tional Ser­vices, Ed­i­ble Ar­range­ments, The Metropoli­tan Amer­i­can Diner & Bar, Sesame/ Rock­wood Camps, Marks Jew­el­ers and The Lit­tle Gym. And they ac­quired the GRnDWLRnV WKDW fiOOHG WKH FRnFHVVLRn VWDnG DnG rDIflH WDEOH.

“TKH KRurV GHfinLWHOy SDLG RII. ,W wDV well worth it,” Jarvis said.

Bu­runda Prince-Jones, a high school par­ent and Wis­sahickon School Dis­trict Board mem­ber, spent the day at Fall Fest en­joy­ing the ac­tiv­i­ties and ad­mir­ing the stu­dent ef­fort.

“It’s fan­tas­tic,” she said. “A great day with lots of school spirit and par­tic­i­pa­tion. Peo­ple who say that kids are into bad things need to come to events like this, where kids are into great things. I hope more peo­ple will par­tic­i­pate next year be­cause it show­cases our school and our community.”

The pro­ceeds from Fall Fest will bene­fiW WKH :LVVDKLFNRn HLJK 6FKRRO 6FKRODr­ship Foun­da­tion, the alumni as­so­ci­a­tion and par­tic­i­pat­ing clubs.


Students Louisa Mul­bah, of Ambler, left, Grace Palmer, of Fort Wash­ing­ton, and Sarah Kl­itsch, of Ambler, make bal­loon an­i­mals.

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