Having a blast at SummitFest 2023

By Brian O’Shea, Plateau Daily News

Summit School held its annual fall fundraiser, SummitFest, last month packing the soccer field with a plethora of games and activities including a dunk tank, sack races, inflatable slides, hoola hoop contests, pie giveaways and more that help raise money for the Summit Family Association.

Summit’s soccer field was transformed into a fall-themed carnival playland for SummitFest 2023.

“Summit Family Association coordinates a variety of volunteer opportunities that enhance and support the educational experience at Summit Charter School,” said Sarah Burnette, who organizes the event each year.  “The proceeds of SummitFest allow SFA to host several family-oriented events and celebrate the teachers and faculty of Summit throughout the school year.”

Sending a hoola hoop down the line without letting go of your teammate’s hands.

One of the most popular activities each year is the dunk tank. This year’s brave souls who sacrificed themselves in the tank include Jeff Hirn (HS and MS Math Teacher), Aaron Littlefield (MS Social Studies Teacher), Mark Letson (parent), Officer Chuck Reavis (School Resource Officer), Kurt Pusch (Head of School), Nathan Trivers (Music teacher), Andrea Chalker (Principal), Rob Case (EC teacher).

School Resource Officer Chuck Reavis taunts those who step up to try and dunk him.

All of those who stepped into the dunk tank had a steady flow of students taking their best shots, but when Summit Principal Andrea Chalker stepped in, the line of participants almost tripled in size.

Summit Principal Andrea Chalker who takes it up a notch and rocks a mermaid costume in the dunk tank.

Chalker said despite the fear of being dunked, she was happy she was able to help support the SFA.

The first of dozens of times Andrea Chalker was dunked at Summitfest 2023.

“My initial thoughts as the kids wind up to throw are…please don’t let the ball meet the target,” said Chalker. “The kids enjoy seeing their teachers/administrators in a different role for fun, it helps them to know we are human as well, so I was happy to do my part in supporting our SFA (Summit Family Association). Seeing the huge smiles on the student’s faces makes going in the water worthwhile!”

This is the reaction of the first student to dunk Andrea Chalker…

Burnette said she is grateful to all the valiant souls who entered the dunk tank.

“These amazing folks volunteered to be dunked this year,” said Burnette. “We raised $544 from the dunk tank alone! I appreciate that all of these amazing people would do this to help us raise money!”

Head of School Kurt Pusch takes his turn in the tank.

In addition to the dunk tank, a slew of volunteers and sponsors are necessary to put on such an event each year and Burnette said it could not happen without their support.

SummitFest volunteers from left are Kelly Greene and Katie Bumgarner.

“I’d like to thank all of our sponsors and donors for their contributions,” she said. “This event would not be as amazing as it was without their help! I’d also like to thank the committee members for all of their hard work!”

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Getting psyched for the musical-chair style pie competition to begin.

There were consistent games held in the center of the soccer field throughout the day. The objective pictured is to round up balloons with fly swatters.

Face painting is always a SummitFest favorite and this year was no exception.

Launching a frog via a mallet trying to score a bucket.

Rocking Twister at SummitFest 2023.

School Resource Officer Chuck Reavis staying positive after being dunked.

The Cashiers-Glenville Fire Department brought a fire engine sporting a giant American flag.

SummitFest goers making their way to the next game.

The face painting masterpieces were the work of skilled Summit upperclassmen.

Balloon toss shenanigans.


Getting ready to make his way down the line of inflatables.

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