HONOLULU (KHNL) - The Punahou Carnival wrapped up this past weekend and on Monday, crews were getting the campus back to order. It started back in 1932, and despite a sagging economy, this year could be its most successful year yet.
There were some concerns about whether or not folks would come out to spend money, but the Punahou Carnival did very well. Early estimates show they could have a record year.
It's one of the biggest school fundraisers in the state. The Punahou Carnival brought together different segments of the school community for this annual event.
"It takes about 4,000 volunteers to actually put on the carnival," said Lee Ann Ichimura, the Punahou Carnival Coordinator. "So we do recruitment with our junior class, actually take the lead role in putting on the carnival and parents and alumni come out to support and staff many of the booths."
The event raises anywhere from $400,000 to $500,000 for the school's financial aid program and student activities. As far as actual dollar amount, final figures aren't available, but early estimates show they're about six percent ahead of the all-time record.
"We actually really didn't expect, with the economy the way that it's been, and all of that talk," said Ichimura. "We kind of were hopeful that we'd get a wonderful turnout and the community has really come through for us."
And this year, Mother Nature cooperated.
"This year we had really good weather. How do you think that played into the turnout this year?" asked KHNL.
"We were very fortunate to have wonderful weather for both days," said Ichimura. "And actually that brought in a really nice turnout in terms of attendance and a lot of families were able to enjoy the carnival this year."
As crews remove carnival equipment and get the campus get ready for school Tuesday, Punahou officials count their blessings.
"We're just very thankful for all the support that we received and we look forward to many more carnivals in the future," said Ichimura.
Students had the day off Monday; they're back in school Tuesday. Final Punahou Carnival financial figures should be available at the end of this month.
The carnival also helped neighboring school raise money for its own programs. Maryknoll School, which is right next door to Punahou, sold hundreds of parking spaces for the carnival. They were full or almost full both days.
"And the money that we earn goes for our camp excursion that we have in March -- it's a three-day excursion for the kids," said James Fallon, a Maryknoll fifth grade teacher. "And some of the money -- half the money -- will go for next year when they go to sixth grade for the big island excursion which is a week-long excursion."