Mount Calvary Preschool Turns Fab 40

What's better than a balloon hat and bubbles? Youngsters cavort in a sea of bubbles created by the Bubble Bus as the on Saturday morning. (All photos by Steve Bowman)
What’s better than a balloon hat and bubbles? Youngsters cavort in a sea of suds created by the Bubble Bus at a 40th birthday party for the Mount Calvary Center for Early Childhood Education on Saturday morning in Brentwood. (All photos by Steve Bowman)

Birthday party included fun run, cupcakes, kites, bubbles

By Steve Bowman
Editor, The Brentwood Spirit
email: bowmansj@sbcglobal.net

The Mount Calvary Center for Early Childhood Education celebrated its 40th year in Brentwood on Saturday with a fun run and a birthday party for the entire community.

With a freshly drawn mustache and a balloon pal, Sophia Jones wonders how she'll spend her game tickets.
With a freshly drawn mustache and a balloon pal, Sophia Jones wonders how she’ll spend her game tickets.
Jay Sorrell plays the bean bag toss with his father Darin.
Jay Sorrell plays the beanbag toss with his father Darin.

Dubbed the 40 and Fabulous Festival, it was held on the Mount Calvary Lutheran Church grounds, with the fun run winding through the neighborhood east of the church.

“It’s a day of fun and smiles and family togetherness,” said the school’s co-director Sharon Marshall. “We just want to celebrate being here and being supported by a great community.”

About 50 people participated in the 9 a.m. fun run, which offered a choice of a one-mile walk, a one-mile run or a five-kilometer run. The run was well carried out with course attendants at each turn and Brentwood police directing traffic for safety on Litzinger Road.

After the run, numerous festivities lasted until 1 p.m. They included food, a photo booth, face painting, a silent auction, kite flying, a cupcake walk, game booths, lawn games and a sing-along. In addition, Lolli the Clown made balloon animals on request and the Bubble Bus filled the air with soap bubbles from as tiny as a marble to as big as a beach ball.

Money raised by the fun run entry fee, the silent auction and ticket sales from the games went to the preschool. Marshall said the proceeds will pay for new equipment and will help fund a scholarship program, among other things.

Founded in 1974, the early childhood center operates five days a week from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for about 60 children ages 2 to 5. Next fall the hours will expand by 90 minutes: 8:15 a.m. to 3:45 p.m.

Marshall and Jennifer Cross became co-directors last year when director Debbie Stroh departed after 34 years at the school. Marshall was Stroh’s assistant director. Marshall and Cross have each worked at the school for over 20 years. They’re part of an 11-person staff, seven of whom have each worked there for at least 13 years.

Other preschool staff members listed on the church’s website are Celeste Kennedy, Ellen Hamacher, Fran Jones, Carol Dallman, Betty Core, Kathy Alexander, Sarah-Kate Sullivan, Sharon Lakey and Tonya Peter. Marshall has been on staff for 22 years, Cross for 21, Kennedy for 18 and Hamacher for 17. Jones, Dallman and Core have each worked at the school for 13 years.

Click here to reach the school’s website.

Corporal Nick Stanze (right) and Sergeant Jeff Manestar of the Brentwood Police Department show youngsters a riot shield.
Corporal Nick Stanze (right) and Sergeant Jeff Manestar of the Brentwood Police Department show youngsters a riot shield.
The fun run begins, with most of the kids up front opting for the one-mile  route.
The fun run begins, with most of the kids up front opting for the one-mile route.
Run participants pass in front of the church, along Litzinger Road, where 40 flower candles proclaim the preschool's anniversary.
Run participants pass in front of the church, along Litzinger Road, where 40 flower candles proclaim the preschool’s anniversary.
Route volunteer Ann Vazquez rattles a cowbell to cheer on runners.
Route volunteer Ann Vazquez rattles a cowbell to cheer on runners.

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Festival participants purchase tickets for the games. Proceeds benefit the preschool.
Festival participants purchase tickets for the games. Proceeds are benefiting the preschool.

DSC_2923 Silent Auction

Lolli the Clown custom fits a balloon hat to a youngster's head.
Lolli the Clown custom fits a balloon hat to a youngster’s head.
Posing with a cutout of the Bubble Bus man are preschool co-directors Sharon Marshall (left) and Jennifer Cross.
Posing with a cutout of the Bubble Bus man are preschool co-directors Sharon Marshall (left) and Jennifer Cross.

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DSC_3006 Face paint

Noah Schoemehl eats a cupcake with a hand from his mom, Mandie.
Noah Schoemehl eats a cupcake with a hand from his mom, Mandie.

DSC_2839 Happy Birthday candles

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