Due to generous support from the community, Creative Coast Preschool will remain open for local youngsters, offering childcare services, as well as voluntary prekindergarten classes.
Saturday marked the first Creative Coast Preschool Fundraiser BBQ, which included food prepared by Brandon Moore, a bounce house donated by Betty and Shannon Zigler and full use of the center for the kids to enjoy.
Lazy Flamingo donated the hamburgers for the event, The WaterFront Restaurant donated the hot dogs and buns and the Creative Coast Preschool parents donated the drinks and food. Anna Demeo donated the veggies.
Youngsters enjoyed a day of fun during the first Creative Coast Preschool Fundraiser BBQ that helped raise funds to keep the doors open.
"This is perfect," said Tina Riehm, owner of Creative Coast Preschool, about the good turnout.
She said she wanted to thank everyone who donated to Creative Coast Preschool.
Parents came with their children and enjoyed food, as well as watching the youngsters run around with their friends playing in one of the many areas of the center, and the bounce house located outside.
In addition to the food and fun, the fund-raiser also included the chance to win a number of raffles prizes that were donated by the community. Raffle tickets are $1 per prize and are available to purchase at the center all week long.
The first prize is a three-day, two-night stay in an efficiency cottage at Fernando's Hideaway in Matlacha, which includes kayaks. The second prize is one month of childcare for one child per family. The other prizes include a $50 Red's Seafood Restaurant gift certificate, $50 DJ entertainment certificate, $20 Winn-Dixie gift card and a Mary Kay shopping spree gift card and basket.
Nancy McGuire wanted to show her support for Creative Coast Preschool Saturday because three of her grandchildren attending the center.
"My grandchildren used to come here, they learned a lot and did well," she said.
It was important for McGuire to show her support because she believes the center is a good place for the community to have for early learning.
"The early learning helps out," she said about her grandchildren, who are now excelling in elementary school.
McGuire's grandchildren started at Creative Coast Preschool as daycare students before they were enrolled in the voluntary prekindergarten program.
Amanda Steigele, who works at the center, was happy to see everyone come out and support Creative Coast Preschool.
"We appreciate it so much," she said, adding that everything is open regarding the financial position they are in. "Everyone is helping."
Throughout last week, Steigele said everyone had called and sent stuff to them to help the center remain open.
"We are here for the kids," she said. "It is nice to see people come out to support them to."
Riehm said right now she has 15 kids signed up for VPK, which will start on Aug. 8. She is still accepting more students for the program.
Last August, Creative Coast Preschool became a pilot location for families who are signing their children up for the VPK program, which means parents can turn all their paperwork in at the center.
"I can do all of their paperwork here on the premise," she said.
Parents will have up to two weeks after the session starts to sign their children up for the VPK program in the fall.
Due to the success of the first fund-raiser, Riehm plans on holding another fund-raiser in the near future.