Wine, appetizers, music—this was not your typical Parent Teacher Association (PTA) ice cream social.
“I thought it would be a fun and easy adult event to raise money for the PTA,” said Krista Johnston, fundraising chair of the JFK PTA. “Usually, I try to throw a fun citywide event that is not just for the parents.”
She said the PTA's role has grown to be a greater force within all schools and is more essential in helping schools in any areas of need.
"It is no longer about ice cream socials," said Johnston. “It really advocates for children now and is fundamental to every school."
Funds raised by the PTA go toward special assemblies, playground and physical education equipment and any areas where state money has fallen short. The PTA also has funded teaching grants for teachers to purchase classroom supplies.
"I would say in any PTA, you will find a parent who is committed to their school and community as well," said Johnston.
Wine-tasting guests dined on appetizers and sampled from a selection of 16 wines, but tasting was only part of the deal. Wine was also available for purchase, with 15 percent of the proceeds going directly to the JFK.
“It’s not just the fluff of the school anymore,” said JFK PTA member Dawn Keener, 42, who has a son and daughter that attend JFK. “We have a very high percentage of parents who become members, and the parents are very, very involved.”
More than 75 percent of the parents of JFK elementary are PTA members, Keener said, adding that the parents in the PTA are parents who are actively involved. "(They're) awesome parents," she said.
The PTA also breaks up into subcommittees that specialize in different areas in the school and community, such as the gardening committee, fine arts committee, teacher appreciation and green committee.
“Our goal (in the green committee) is to obtain the highest green certification rating and maintain it,” said Susan Christin, 47, head of the green committee. Christin said the green committee plans to hold its own fundraiser in April, a schoolwide indoor garage sale.
"Everyone at Kennedy, all the parents, are very involved and concerned about the school and the environment," Christin said.
Johnston said $540 was raised at the door and charity wine sales go until March 7. In you're interested in purchasing wine email Krista Johnston at: email@example.com.
The PTA offers an individual membership for $5 and a family membership for $8.
Visit ferndalepta.org for more information on how you can get involved in Ferndale schools.