By Nancy Steimle
This past Sunday Piedmont’s Palm Drive spirit was in full steam as the close-knit neighbors of the street hosted its third annual Palm Drive Penny Carnival. The Carnival was part of the tri-school fundraiser known as Spring Fling.
Palm Drive is home to over 40 children who attend or will attend Wildwood School, so it was only natural they would want to support the schools. And what a way to do it! Over the last few weeks parents, students, friendly neighbors and even supportive grandparents collected amazing prizes, decorated signs, created games and made delicious snacks.
On Sunday they blocked of the street and welcomed 55 children and their parents to enjoy fresh squeezed lemonade, face painting, a popcorn machine and game booths such as Tube Bowling, Tin Can Alley and Tic Tac Toss!
Four-year-old Carolina Romanczuk was overheard exclaiming, “This is the best day ever!”
Hope Salzer, a Piedmont newcomer, said "This is our first year in Piedmont and the first Spring Fling Parent Party we've attended. Our kids — ages 8 and 5 — had a great time running from game to game, then to the lemonade stand, in an endless loop.
"As adults, we enjoyed grown-up conversations while our kids were safely and delightedly engaged independently. This kid-friendly 'Parent' Party resonated with all that makes Piedmont an outstanding place to live: creative, community-building events in support of educational opportunities for all — and on an idyllic June afternoon!”
The carnival was originally the idea of Jack Steimle, currently a first grader at Wildwood Elementary School. Two summers ago he announced to his mom, Nancy Strom Steimle, that he wanted to have a carnival for the neighbors. In order to keep him busy for the summer she agreed — teaching Jack to sew beanbags, paint a bean bag toss booth and research game ideas on the Internet. It was such a hit the neighbors encouraged them to make it a tradition and the Palm Drive Penny Carnival was born.
While Steimle still organizes the event she insists she could not pull it off without the tremendous support of her neighbors.
“On Sunday we had 46 neighbors give up their free time to man booths and help raise about $2,500 for Piedmont Schools," she said.
"I feel so lucky to live on a street filled with such generous and enthusiastic people. I know all of our Palm Drive kids will look back at the Penny Carnival as one of their most cherished childhood memories, and I hope our guests will too.
Steimle will be co-chairing the Spring Fling fundraiser next year and encourages other neighborhoods to look for talents or interests to offer the community.
“Penny carnival, tea party, or hoedown — folks are looking for things to do on the weekend. Might as well make some money for the schools as well! We are so thankful people chose to spend their Sunday with us!”