Cindy Van Dyke decorates mascot Pat to advertise the the Mardi Gras Dance on Feb. 25 which will benefit the Community Foundation for Coupeville Public Schools. Photo by Megan Hansen/Whidbey News-Times

Businesses hosting Mardi Gras bash for schools foundation

A handful of Coupeville businesses are throwing a Mardi Gras bash.

The Feb. 25 celebration is being held to raise money to enrich students’ educational environment. Proceeds from the dance benefit the Community Foundation for Coupeville Public Schools. The dance costs $12 and is being held 7:30-11 p.m. at the Coupeville Recreation Hall.

Several businesses are helping organize the event with decorations, food and entertainment.

Knead N’ Feed owner Doug Kroon is a sponsor and organizer of the event. He is providing appetizers and a King cake, a Mardi Gras tradition, said Cindy Van Dyke, a foundation board member and owner of Far From Normal.

Mitch Aparicio from Penn Cove Taproom is providing live music with his band, Saratoga Straitjacket. The taproom will be selling beer.

Kid-friendly beverages will also be available for sale as it is a family-friendly event, Van Dyke said.

Mel Rodman, from the Crow’s Roost, is helping with decorations and guests will be able to make their own Mardi Gras masks, and there will be plenty of beads on hand.

Tickets will be sold at the door, but can also be reserved online at www.4coupevilleschools.org. A $12 donation will get you in the door while a $20 donation will get you one “duck,” which serves as a chance to win prize drawings.

Each year, Community Foundation for Coupeville Public Schools provides grants that give an “extra measure of support” to Coupeville students.” According to the foundation website, the goal is to provide at least $20 per student or $20,000 annually to enrich Coupeville students’ educational experience.

On Friday, the foundation awarded 10 grants totaling $5,000.

Van Dyke has served on the foundation board for more than 15 years. Her son, who currently attends college, benefited from a foundation grant.

“I always like to look for projects that are quirky and have that extra measure of support,” she said. “Projects that give kids an enrichment.”

Van Dyke said the grants help fund extra things teachers want outside of basic curriculum, special projects or needs.

Some of the grants awarded Friday include funding for a refrigerator for the transitions classroom, high-end sound recording equipment for the media program, Legos for use at recess and an adaptive chair for a student.

Grants were also awarded to help fund program costs for Science Olympiad, Farm to School and other science programming as well as a first grade class that uses Iditarod as a focal point for learning math, geography, science and more.

Two of the grants will also fund trips for students.

“Peg Tennant and Stephanie Ask received a grant to take students active in drama to a production of ‘Romeo and Juliet,’” said Chic Merwine, foundation president. “We appreciate their efforts to introduce Coupeville students to activities they don’t get to see unless they make these trips.”

Second grade students received a grant to go see a production of “Junie B’s Essential Survival Guide to School.”

“The Junie B book series is actually something students explore in class and this trip should be a great tie-in and culminating event,” Merwine said.

n To learn more about the Foundation, go to www.4coupevilleschools.org