Edgeworth Elementary Carnival for a Cure rescheduled due to weather

Sunday, February 2, 2020 | 3:25 PM

Carnival for a Cure has been rescheduled for 7 p.m. Feb. 27., due to the wintry weather. The Carnival raises money for the Relay for Life of Sewickley Valley team, with proceeds going to the American Cancer Society.

Youngsters from across the Sewickley Valley will gather for a night of fun and games — all for a good cause — as Carnival for a Cure returns to Edgeworth Elementary for its ninth year.

The event, organized by the school’s fifth-grade class, transforms the gymnasium into a real life carnival, where students create a variety of games for their younger peers to enjoy.

“The drive behind this is to teach service learning to my fifth-graders,” said Jen Bradley, fifth-grade teacher.

The idea for the carnival came just shy of a decade ago when the Relay for Life of Sewickley Valley team still was holding relay events in the community. The theme one year was “Carnival for a Cure,” said Barbara Cooley Thaw, event chair with the relay team.

Teachers at Edgeworth would participate in the relay and raised money in past years by having jeans days and other smaller fundraisers, Bradley said.

When she became the fifth-grade teacher, she wanted to incorporate the kids — teaching them service learning, she said.

Thus, Carnival for a Cure was born.

Each year, fifth-graders at Edgeworth Elementary in the Quaker Valley School District come up with games for the night. They range from hula hoop contests to Nerf target games and Punch for a Cure.

“This is all out of their own brains that they come up with this,” Bradley said.

Some students tap into their family’s creativity and build large wooden structures that look more like professional games that stay around for years.

“There have been games that have been so incredible,” Thaw said.

Students are in charge of overseeing the games — each wearing a little apron Thaw made for them several years ago.

Even the Girl Scouts bring in their canopies and tables for the night.

The night includes lots of tasty treats, from freshly popped popcorn to cotton candy.

For lucky game winners, students even have donated stuffed animals and other trinkets to collect as prizes.

“The fifth-graders clean out their closet,” Thaw said. “That’s all of our prizes.”

For them, the night is a “right of passage,” Bradley said.

Carnival for a Cure is something students look forward to every year until fifth grade, knowing they will someday get to be a part of the big event.

Students are in charge of everything, from making the posters, to selling tickets in advance.

Tickets are 30 for $5 when purchased in homeroom, or 20 for $5 when purchased at the door.

This year, when Bradley introduced the event to fifth-graders just after the holidays, a student came in the very next day with a poster advertising the event already completed.

She told her teacher she had been waiting years for this and during that time planned exactly just what she would put on her poster.

Carnival for a Cure has brought in close to $50,000 over the last eight years, Bradley said.

The Relay for Life of Sewickley Valley team now focuses on events like this.

They also hold a Cooking for a Cure event that will be held in April at the Sewickley Heights Golf Club with a roaring 20s theme.

Each May, they hold a luminaria event in The Village to honor the memory of those lost or suffering from cancer.

They also hold bingo events.

Bradley hopes Carnival for a Cure teaches her students citizenship and the importance of treating others with kindness.

Thaw said that if the event encourages one person to get tested — like having a mammogram — it’s worth it.