August 25, 2013, Palos Park, IL — Palos School District 118 kicked off a new school year last Wednesday, that began with a full day of classes and concluded with their annual Back to School Family Picnic at Palos South Middle School in the evening.
“It was great to see the families and community of District 118 begin the school year on such a celebratory note,” said Superintendent of Schools, Joseph Dubec, “It always sets the tone for a positive school year.” District administrators were pleased with the turn out of nearly one thousand on such a warm summer evening. Participants were able to keep cool with free beverages, running through a misting tent, or getting hosed off by the local fire department.
The Palos South Band, Stagg Cheerleaders, and Fun, Fun, Fun DJs provided entertainment on the school grounds while kids worked up their appetites dancing, jumping in the bounce-house, and participating in hula-hoop, limbo, and dance contests. Picnic-goers also enjoyed face-painting, balloon animals, races, and other games. Complimentary popcorn, soda, water, and slushies were offered, with local vendors including Hunan Inn, Lions Club, Luciano’s Pizza, and Aramark, were on hand selling a variety of food. Local fire and police departments were also in attendance to show their support.
Picnic chairpersons Yvonne Leschkies and Kathy Pagoria credit the volunteers and community for the continued popularity and success of the event. “The picnic is really a result of collaboration between our community and school district,” said Leschkies, “The Board of Education, Parent Faculty Association, and Educational Foundation all sponsored the picnic and helped run various activities like the cake walk and sack races.”
More community involvement came from the Orland Park Bakery and members of Palos South’s National Junior Honor Society, who donated baked goods for the popular cake walk. In addition, Hunan Inn donates 40 percent of their picnic sales back to the district, and has been a mainstay of the event since its inception in 2002. All local police departments were on hand to help with security and facilitate smooth traffic flow at the picnic, as well as distribute kid friendly safety materials.
District 118 schools include Palos East and West Elementary Schools, and Palos South Middle School.