44 Community News Ponte Vedra Recorder · October 29, 2015 Photos by Kelly H. McDermott Kids could choose from seven different bounce houses. Photo provided by Valley Ridge Academy The Valley Ridge Adacemy performed for onlookers Saturday as part of the festivities. Valley Ridge PTO hosts day of fun for Nocatee community Kelly H. McDermott The sun was shining and the weather felt more like summer on Saturday as music, cheers and laughter filled the air at Ponte Vedra’s newest school, the Valley Ridge Academy. The new K through 8 school was the site of the Valley Ridge Academy PTO’s second annual Fall Family Festival on Oct. 24. “This is the second year and generally the idea was community building. It’s a brand new school but a brand new community as well,” said school principal Wayne King. “More than 50 percent of the people who enroll begin outside the state of Florida – so the vision last year was to bring people together, bring their kids, and have fun while they get to know each other.” A reported 1,424 people attended the free event, which was run by 89 volunteers. Guests enjoyed a video game truck, obstacle course, art projects, book fair, bounce houses, pumpkin bowling, raffles and human-sized “hamst er ball” races. There were also food trucks representing home-grown eateries like M Shack, Bold City Pops and Trasca & Co. Lazzara Orthodontics, which provides sponsorship to a number of St. Johns County Schools, was the presenting sponsor for the event. “It’s a great honor to be partnered and affiliated with schools as wonderful as the ones in St. Johns County,” said Dr. Jon Lazarra. “Our parents are here, our students are here – it’s great!” said co-chair of the event, Tory Eulenfeld. Eulenfeld organized the event in just six weeks with her co-chair Connie Herrell and the help of other volunteers from the Valley Ridge PTO. In addition to fun and communitybuilding, the event helped raise funds Kids and families anxiously awaited a drawing for a massive gift-basket raffle. for the school’s playground and for local charity the Jim & Tabitha Furyk Foundation. Those attending were asked to bring a box of stuffing to be donated to the Foundation. The donations will then be included in packages of food sent home with county students in need during the First Coast Blessings in a Backpack annual event. Eulenfeld said the PTO will split the money generated Saturday through donations, giving half back to Valley Ridge Academy and half to the Jim & Tabitha Furyk Foundation. PTO continues on Page 45 Families could get cool as they browsed gift baskets in the shade of the campus’ large outdoor pavilion.