The Brookfield Backpack Charitable Fund has held a number of fundraisers over the years, but has hit on one that not only pretty much covers the fund’s budget for the year but brings the community together.

Hungry for the Arts is an annual event and was held for the third time Feb. 24 at Tiffany’s Banquet Center, Brookfield.

Tracy Plyler

Tracy Plyler

“It’s pretty much our only fundraiser,” said fund President Tracy Plyler. “We always want to have something that kids and families can come to and participate in.”

The event included a display of student art, music from the Brookfield High School Jazz Band, a spaghetti dinner and two tables of treats. Kids were invited to make bags of treats to take home.

“We had a great turnout,” Plyler said. “We’ve been pretty fortunate.”

Cheryl King of Brookfield had not been to Hungry for the Arts before but probably will come back again.

“It was very nice,” said King, whose granddaughter, Samantha Craig, won best in show for her art. “I think it’s a good cause.”

The latest event attracted more art entries than ever before, Plyler said, and school art teacher Linda Bain said she appreciated the opportunity to have her students’ work seen by people outside the school.

“I love that they thought of doing this (art show) with a fundraiser,” Bain said.

Students work hard, and Hungry for the Arts is a way to let the wider community know of their accomplishments, Plyler said.

“The adults get a big kick out of viewing the art,” she said, also noting the benefits of the musical entertainment.

“The only people that come to the band performances are the parents,” Plyler said. “This gives our jazz band a place to play that’s close and more people can see them.”

Dayton Raught takes a solo for the Brookfield High School Jazz Band.

Dayton Raught takes a solo for the Brookfield High School Jazz Band.

Like Hungry for the Arts, the charitable fund, which provides food for about 50 elementary school students, is supported by a wide range of community members: individuals, members of Brookfield United Methodist Church, school officials and the peers of those being served. Plyler said 60 percent of the fund’s volunteers, those who stuff the backpacks for distribution, are students.

“We want to promote an environment where volunteering is a good thing,” Plyler said

The fund’s board is discussing ways to serve more students, Plyler said.

Art show winners were:

  • Taylor Vaughn, first place for elementary students.
  • Madison Fisher, first place for middle school students.
  • Claire Vendemia, first place for high school students.
  • Joshua and Leland Bentley, Most Enthusiastic Family Award.
  • Samantha Craig, Best in Show

Hubbard artist Linda Clark judged the show.