VikingFest celebrates decade of community support

By Melanie Yingst -

CASSTOWN — Miami East Education Foundation supports student achievement and teacher projects throughout the year, and its annual VikingFest is a way the community can give back in a fun and beneficial way.

According to Sharon Buse and Beth Culbertson, MEEF board members, the idea for VikingFest came about as a way for the community to contribute to the foundation through a day of fun and fellowship in a festive atmosphere.

The 10th annual VikingFest will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 18, at the K-8 building. The day will be filled with music, silent auction, food and festival fun for the whole family.

Over the last 13 years, more than $125,000 has been reinvested in the Miami East students and staff, Buse said. The MEEF is a 501-3(c) non-profit organization and is managed through the Troy Foundation. The community can also support the MEEF through the United Way organization.

Through the VikingFest fundraiser and donations from the community, the MEEF awarded five $1,000 scholarships for students last year.

“The money raised at VikingFest helps students with scholarships or funds School Personnel Grants, which helps teachers fund extra projects like space camp or school trips that compliment their instruction in the classroom,” Buse shared. “All proceeds from VikingFest are distributed throughout the district each year.”

“Every penny goes back to the Viking community,” Culbertson said. “VikingFest is a way for the whole community to get involved and to enjoy with all the proceeds benefiting the students and the district.”

Other school organizations such as the district’s After-Prom, Alumni and others chip in to help with the festival each year and in return help raise money for additional student activities.

Admission to VikingFest is free. Games and inflatables are pay-to-play. Tickets are 25 cents each or 5 for $1. Food will be available and is sponsored by the Miami East After-Prom Committee. Popcorn and Sno-cones sales help support the Miami East Alumni Association. A silent auction and local vendors also will be part of the day. The district’s annual baking contest will have student and adult divisions. A photo booth and games will also be available.

The VikingFest also features its annual Little Miss and Mister VikingFest Contest for Miami East Elementary Schools students, kindergarten through third grade. The contest begins at 11 a.m.

The district’s Student Art Show will also be on display during the event.

The following entertainment groups will be performing throughout the VikingFest:

10 a.m. — Gotham City Brass Quintet

11 a.m. — Little Miss and Mister VikingFest

11:45 a.m. — Mary Davis and the Accordion Orchestra

1:30 p.m. — Larry Lyons

2:25 p.m. — DOT Three

2:45 p.m. — A preview of the Miami East High School musical “The Little Mermaid”

For the information, visit the MEEF’s site on the district’s website at Donations and volunteers are needed. To volunteer or donate, contact Sharon Buse at or Beth Culbertson at

By Melanie Yingst

Follow Melanie Yingst on Twitter @Troydailynews

Follow Melanie Yingst on Twitter @Troydailynews