King’s Fork High School groups team up

Published 9:30 pm Saturday, March 19, 2011

Members of the King’s Fork High School Be Fight Free campaign and the student council are teaming up to develop a flea market and festival with an anti-violence theme.

“It’s a small group of kids that are trying to do something important,” said Kiara Anthony, 12th-grade student council member.

The student council was originally planning a flea market event to raise money for a marquee to put in front of the high school. But when Whitney Nichols, SCA president and BFF committee member, suggested that the event be expanded to include an anti-violence and safety theme and bring the “Be Fight Free” message to the community, other SCA members were eager to help.

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The students decided that in combining the two events, they could help one another and attract more people. The final product — dubbed “Suffolk Community Fest” — will be held on April 9. The flea market will begin at 8 a.m. in the gym and the festival will begin at 11 a.m. Both parts of the event will continue until sunset.

At the event, the students plan to have food vendors, carnival-type games, rides, a moon bounce, a cake walk, contests, vendors, face painters, a caricature artist, the flea market and more.

The students have already begun to ask local businesses and community leaders for their support.

They have arranged to have volunteers from the King’s Fork fire station to discuss fire safety. In addition, Ident-A-Kid, the Chick-fil-A on Main Street, the school’s PTA, a photographer and a few private vendors will come out and support the event and their activities.

And the students are looking for even more support. They have contacted a number of other businesses and organizations and are waiting for a response. The group is planning fundraising events and requesting donations from businesses in the area to make the project a reality. Students are considering a variety of advertising for sponsors during the event.

“We really want to make a difference with this,” said Debretta Coleman, a 10th-grade BFF committee member.

Debretta hopes that this event will reach citizens of all ages to give them something fun and positive to take part in.

“For all the negative things happening, we want to do something to counteract all the negative publicity to show Suffolk is a positive community,” Nichols said.

The BFF committee and SCA are hoping to take mission of the BFF committee into the community, and they are also hoping to make this an annual event.

“We will try to get the antiviolence word out to the community because we already did it in schools,” said Fletcher Stephens, a sophomore and BFF committee member. “It’s not going to change if you don’t change the mindset of people. This is why we don’t want this whole Be Fight Free thing to die.”

Students are working to keep the costs for event participants low. Certain events, including arts and crafts activities, will be free.

“If they don’t want to pay for something, they will still have something to do,” Anthony said. “I think it will benefit the community because it is affordable and we are in a recession. We should still be able to have fun.”

At this time, students estimate that tickets will be priced $5 for 10 tickets, $10 for 20 tickets and $20 for a wristband that will allow participants to take part in all activities throughout the day. Students will also be accepting donations at the door. If it rains, both events will be held indoors.

The proceeds will be put toward the cost of the event and the marquee.

If you are interested in donating to the event, contact SCA advisor Alexis Gibbs at