FAIRVIEW — Mascot Rusty the Raven was on hand Friday to greet students and parents as they arrived at Russell Boulevard Elementary School for its annual Fall Fest.
Fall Fest is a major fundraiser for the Russell Elementary PTA. Activities included two bounce houses — one which was tiger-shaped — face painting, a pumpkin ring toss, tattoo parlor and many more.
Members of MU’s Kappa Alpha Theta sorority volunteered to run the activity booths.
"I love seeing the kids; it’s awesome," Cassie Fels, an MU freshman, said. "I remember I loved carnivals like this when I was a kid."
The festival also marks the one-year anniversary of the sorority becoming a Partner in Education with Russell Elementary.
One booth popular with the students was the haunted jail. For four tickets, someone could put one of their friends in "jail" for five minutes. The person in jail was even "handcuffed."
Paul Lewandowski greeted his daughter and her friend as they were able to get out of their fake handcuffs and "break out" of the haunted jail.
"It’s a nice chance to see all the families," he said. "My son’s been here for five years, and my daughter has been here for three, so you get to know different families and kids. It’s neat to see them all come back in one spot."
Sisters and co-owners Katy McDonald and Cristy Lillig of Creative Days Art Studio also set up a booth at the festival. They hung a white banner that read "Russell Ravens Celebrate."
The children dipped balls in light and dark green paint and threw them at the banner, creating a splatter paint effect. Duct tape formed the words and worked as a stencil. The eventual goal was to fill the banner enough to leave the words white once the tape was removed.
Inside the school, the fundraisers included a silent auction, a teacher raffle and a room to exchange tickets for prizes. The silent auction offered gift certificates to Columbia businesses and restaurants.
Teachers at the school donated gifts for the teacher raffle. They included pizza parties, toys and a pancake breakfast cooked by the principal, Ed Schumacher.