Online fete!?

The school fete is among the long list of cancelled events this year. While other events have been moving online, could that really work for a fete? Latham Primary School P&C decided to give it a try!

“It has really been driven by need,” explained Fete Coordinator, Jo Dynon. “Pre-COVID, we had collected items for hampers, gathered donations and prizes. We had to sit down and think - what do we have, how can we deal with it now, what is perishable, what is possible?”

“We ended up doing a quick raffle for the perishable items and then taking a bit more time to look at each part of our fete and what we could do now. All along we have been driven by what volunteers have been interested in and offered to do.”

The result is a rolling program of events, sales and fundraisers, culminating in Online Fete Day on October 24.

The lead up included off-site and virtual White Elephant stall, a student-based “Latham’s got talent” competition, and $1000 cash raffle.

“For the White Elephant, we worked closely with the school to decide what they were comfortable with, and had a wonderful team of mums work offsite to sort through the items we had collected for our physical fete,” explained Jo. “We sold the items via bank deposit using our closed P&C Facebook group, with pre-planned pickup times. Anything not sold was offered to our school (books), our OSHC (games, puzzles, dressups etc), a garage sale, and then our local Buy Nothing group. This was all very time and labour intensive.”

The $1000 raffle was the re-birth of an old school tradition, but this time was online.

“We have gone through Raffle Link,” said Jo. “They have been great, there’s someone to help you set it all up. It’s been pretty easy, and there’s a smaller than usual commission for schools because of COVID.”

Fete day itself will run from 3-7pm as usual and will start with ‘Lap around Latham’ – a parade of classic and muscle cars that would otherwise have been on show at the fete.

“The cars will follow a known route around the suburb, including passing the school twice and we will live stream it to Facebook as well,” Jo said. “That will be followed by videos on Facebook and the fete website with more entertainment.”

Entertainment will include special guest appearances, kids’ challenges, raffle draws, and some of the usual fete performances.LathamOnlineFete

“Fete day ends with an online Trivia Night. It’s one of the few things we are charging for - $5 entry. We have a parent who has done something similar at work and is taking care of that. She is using a platform called Mentimeter. It has a fun and engaging look. We tested it over the holidays.”

As Jo is explaining, it becomes clear she has a great team of people behind her. “There’s a person looking after the details” she keeps saying.

“It is wonderful. I have lots of parents who take on a piece of the whole and just run with it. You know it will happen. And they’re doing that piece how it best suits them.”

One parent built the fete website. The site makes a range of fete favourites available for sale – show bags, fairy floss, plants and craft items, play-dough buckets and raffle tickets.

“We’ll start really pushing all of that the week of the fete” said Jo.

With fete day fast approaching, are people looking forward to it?

“It’s a bit hard to tell when you are not seeing people face-to-face at the moment and not able to remind everyone,” said Jo. “We have had to be creative about getting people’s attention. We have a parent who is a graphic designer who has made some template graphics for us to use in the newsletter and on Facebook so people know what is happening.”

“The fete is not really going to be how I envisaged it, but I like to see things through to the end when I’ve committed to something.”

This article is part of a series "At Out P&C..." sharing great things that ACT P&Cs are doing.