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On with the show
Hickory Creek entertainment, festival raises over $15K for PTO
James Clark photos-Second-grade teachers, from left, Megan Creedmore, Lara Kate Miller, Jennifer Shockley and Jessica Gillespie perform to the Christmas song, Jingle Bell Rock.

A variety show featuring Hickory Creek Elementary staff was the highlight of their recent festival held at the school. Teachers volunteer to organize the acts, focusing on the entertainment factor.
“The variety show was the best part of the night,” said PTO president Brooke Totherow. “It was so much fun watching the various acts, with principal Mike Mansfield and the office staff presenting Michael Jackson’s "Thriller."
Each grade level was represented with either teachers, friends or students presenting their talent. An appearance was made by Village People singing “YMCA,” a flashback to the “Rocky” movies, a black light show, both patriotic and Christmas numbers, and synchronized swimming straight from the Olympics was enjoyed by the capacity crowd.
The evening started with a chili supper, with parents donating pots of the hot and tasty fall dish. Children attending the festival enjoyed playing the various free games set up in the halls, such as corn hole, bean bag toss and ring toss.
A silent auction featuring grade-level-organized baskets, as well as other items, were displayed in the library.
“We had some great baskets from the different classes that all brought top dollar,” said Totherow. “We had a wrapping paper basket, a Christmas-themed creation, a gift card basket, a Pioneer Woman entry as well as others.”
Following the variety show, the evening ended with the dollar donation drawing with several lucky folks taking home great gifts. The prizes included a Chattanooga day get away, a Smooth Rapids kayaking camping trip, a Yeti cooler, $200 Visa gift card and $200 cash. Several students were also awarded door prizes. 
Totherow is not sure how the $15,000 raised will be used, but discussion has been made about upgrading the playground equipment or computer technology.
“We conducted a survey last year to see what the demand was,” said Totherow. “The PTO just wants to use the funds in the best way to help the school and the teachers.”
Other PTO officers are Courtney Newby, vice president and treasurer; and Jennifer Gribble, secretary.