It had drizzled all morning but now, just after noon, it was downpouring, and Hardy Beach Party co-director Mary Vytheswaran feared the elementary school's grounds, transformed into a bona fide carnival, would empty.
"I expected the whole herd to run home," she said, after the event concluded, "but no one left."
Though beach weather never arrived, the rain did subside, and about 500 revelers enjoyed a damp day at Hardy Elementary School's second annual beach party. Attractions included a treasure hunt, obstacle course, go carts, dunk tank, pirate ship and face painting.
Vytheswaran's organizational partner, Chrissy Youngren, said the event's profit likely will be less than last year's $16,000, once final figures are tabulated, but still will provide a boon to the school's PTO. With no auction this fall, the beach party was the group's biggest fundraiser of the year.
"The PTO funds what the School Committee doesn't," Youngren said, considering the party's long-term benefits. "They help with enrichment programs, like field trips or maybe a guest speaker, like someone from the Audubon Society."
Planning the four-hour event, which lasted from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., began months ago--in fact, a new director, Keri Boyle, is already thinking about next year--and involved many committees and a core group of about 25 volunteers, according to Youngren. One of organizers' chief foci was promotion, particularly among local businesses. Upper Crist Pizza, for instance, donated pies for sale at a refreshment stand.
Other sponsors included radiantLIFE, Weston Road Cafe, Boyle Transport, J. Gallerani Landscaping, Miss Michelle's Center for Performing Arts, Dunkin' Donuts, Woodbine Playtime, Yama Japanese Restaurant, Wellesley Bank, Thundercat Sports, Subway, and .; Swiss Cleaning, TR Miller Company, the Wellesley Running Club, Wellesley Firefighters Local 1795, Fells Market, The Cottage, Rob's Home Improvement, Kells Construction and Doctors Kane, Tesini and Soporowski.
"It was great. The kids were very involved, and the parents were involved too," said Steve Fugazzotto, the owner of Metro Mass. Entertainment who worked as the party's disc jockey. "A lot of people stuck around, even after the downpour. ... I was impressed by the organization."