By Elizabeth Riggs

Fresh off the heels of a record turnout for the second annual Talent Show, the Ellicottville Central School’s PTO is running on all cylinders with events planned to benefit the school this spring.

This year’s Talent Show, which took place on Wednesday, Feb. 15, featured nearly 40 student performances with everything from hula hoop acts to stand-up comedy, lip syncing to dancing, and singing to instrumental performances.  Participants, ranging from grades 4-8, each received a box of Starburst candy and a $5 Subway gift card as a reward to showcasing their talents.

According to PTO President and ECS Kindergarten Teacher, Diana Olson, the show was extremely successful and is a great way to offer students an alternate to sports.

“It’s a good alternative for students who aren’t into sports,” she said. “The students can prepare a little something on their own and do it at the show.”

In addition to the talent show, the PTO also just wrapped up a Box Tops for Education. Any student who brought in 20 Box Tops was eligible to receive a free ticket to attend up to four Jamestown Jammers games.

The organization is now currently focused on upcoming spring events including a Dime Carnival in April, and a Mother/Son Dance, Science Exposition and Spring Book Fair in May.

The Dime Carnival will be held on Friday, April 21 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. in the high school cafeteria and gymnasium. Tickets to the event will be 10 for $1.

“As well as being an affordable family activity, it is also our main fundraiser for the year,” said Olson, who is enlisting the help of volunteers and donors for the big event.

“We are going to be asking local businesses to donate gift certificates or items for our dime carnival. We have a lot of businesses the last few years that have gotten involved,” said Olson. “Anything that we can use to make more baskets.”

The themed baskets will be raffled off via a Chinese auction, with tickets $1 each or 12 for $10. This year’s basket themes include: Sweet Treat, Spa/Take Me Away, Family Craft, Boys or Girls Fun, Mexican Night, Family Movie Night, Car Wash, Garden and Italian/Pasta Night.

“The kids love entering into it,” Olson said of the basket raffle. “The games are all a dime.”

Olson is also currently soliciting volunteers who may want to assist with the event in the form of donating time, desserts for the cake walk, or glasses, plates, cups, etc. for the dime pitch.

“We always can use extra volunteers running the games,” she said. “We have one grandparent who brings in her cotton candy machine and serves cotton candy to all the students.”

In addition to event volunteers and donors, according to Olson, the PTO currently made up of 15 official members, is always welcoming any new members.

“I have been involved with the PTO since 2009. I have been president since 2010. I just get the joy of helping the kids in the community and seeing the fun activities they get to do, and helping out our school,” Olson said.

The next PTO meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 14 at 4:30 p.m. in the elementary art room. More information about the PTO’s upcoming events at ECS can be found on the PTO page of the school website.