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The Parthenon

Marshall University's Student Newspaper

The Parthenon

Marshall University's Student Newspaper

The Parthenon

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Sandfest Raises Money for Local Children’s Museum

Members+from+the+Marshall+LASIK+Center+making+their+sand+sculpture.
Abigail Cutlip
Members from the Marshall LASIK Center making their sand sculpture.

The second annual Sandfest brought children to campus and the beach to Huntington to fundraise for the Huntington Children’s Museum on Sunday, Sept. 10. In partnership with the Office of Student Affairs, the event raised money to renovate the museum’s new location, buy new exhibits and cover general operating costs. 

The new location in Huntington’s West End needed renovations before the new exhibits could be brought in. Tosha Pelfrey, president of the Huntington Children’s Museum Board, said that most of the repair costs have already been covered by grants and donations. On top of the renovation costs, two of the largest exhibits have also been completely funded. 

Different local businesses sponsored the event itself, volunteered, sold food or competed in the sculpture contest. 

Chris Aluise, another member of the board, said, “There’s more and more vendors and people within the community that come in.”

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Sandfest, which took place on the plaza in front of the Memorial Student Center, featured a tabletop sand sculpture competition. Members from different organizations and businesses around Marshall created  a sculpture to compete for cash prizes and the Golden Shovel. The groups had from when the event started at 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., after which the panels of judges walked around to admire the works.

In total, five organizations competed and three took home prizes. Keramos Clay Club took first place with their creation featuring a mix of different animals including lobster claws, a horse face and cat ears, to name a few.

Sandfest also had many events outside of the sand sculpture competition covering STEAM learning, a new style of education that  mixes the arts with traditional STEM topics. Some of these events included face painting and experiments. 

As a volunteer-run project, Pelfrey said that the Huntington Children’s Museum’s goal is to “create a space where children can learn and grow through play.” 

Katie Holland, a mother at the event, said,  “Sand and toddlers is always a great mix.” 

This year’s event was Holland’s first time, but she said her family “loves all the events the museum puts on, and we’ve loved it so far.”

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