Habitat’s Winter Carnival draws neighbors of all ages

This year’s Winter Carnival raised over $20,000 for Habitat

The 26th annual New Trier Winter Carnival was held on Feb. 28 at the Winnetka campus. With open doors to the community, thousands of people came to have a fun night.

Along with the 42 senior advisery booths, there were a total of 50 booths including help from clubs like Tri-Ship, Girls club, and Student Council. With $1 tickets bought at ticket stations, carnival goers donated to New Trier’s senior service project, which has been partnered with Habitat for Humanity since 2001.

“Our partnership results in building two homes every year. One is always in Waukegan and the other one is always in the Philippines. In total, it has been the 40th home we have built through our partnership so far,” said Habitat for Humanity Board Leader, Anna Hinrichs.

According to Hinrichs, the senior class has already started building their house. The first senior advisery volunteered on Jan. 31. Usually 3-4 adviseries volunteer each week.

“It’s New Trier’s only event where we really open up the doors to the community and invite the kids in, in such a large endeavor. Not only is it a fundraiser for the class service project, but really it is an opportunity to share New Trier with the community around,” said Girls Senior Advisor Chair, Susie Paunan.

This year, new events were held including a taco stand run by Koulentes advisery, and a Bob Ross painting booth by the Burns’ advisery.

“There is always room for groups to come up with a new [booth] idea and we encourage that. Or, there are ways to take an activity and make it their own. Groups take ideas and have fun, and be creative,” said Paunan.

According to Paunan, the planning process begins before winter break when adviseries start brainstorming booth ideas. More serious planning begins after winter break.

Senior Anna Shah said, “Many girls in my advisery had been married in the marriage chapel at the Winter Carnival when they were younger and had such a positive experience that they wanted to give this experience back to other kids this year.”

Like many other seniors, Shah has been to the carnival when she was younger with her friends. She remembers being overwhelmed by the size of New trier and the carnival attractions.

“It’s a lot of fun to see seniors who often remember coming when they were little to the carnival and looking up to the seniors in high school as these really big kids and now they are those people. They are able to lead the event together and host that,” said Paunan.

Freshman, Riley Kamin came with 2 other friends and said his favorite station was the SpongeBob photo booth.

“I also really liked the snow cones station, it tasted good. Overall, I had a fun time at the carnival,” said Kamin.

For Casey Fenner, 13, the bumper cars in the stage gym was his favorite station. Seniors also had a fun experience with each other and with kids at the carnival.

“Just walking around the halls, smelling cotton candy and hearing upbeat music coming out of each room convinced me that the night was going to be a success. I really felt like the senior class had come together, worked hard, and was full of spirit for the cause and our school,” said senior, Kathy Chen.

Senior adviser Kristine Kelsh thought the night was a success. She said her girls’ shifts were ensured all of her seniors could participate.

“The energy and excitement of the children was matched by that of the seniors. My advisees sang and danced as the music played and cheered the singers on,” said Kelsh.

The funds from the carnival will help offset the construction costs and will help pay for the electricians, engineers, and the materials in order to build the houses.

“Everyone is here and there is a lot of energy in the school and they are uniting as a class and the opportunity to do that with such a big class at such a big high school is pretty rare. So to be able to have an opportunity to do that during their senior year is great to witness,” said Paunan.