Douglaston school gears up for fund-raiser

Visitors are transported on a train outside PS 98 in Douglaston, whose PTA plans to host a Casino Royale-themed fund-raiser at the Douglaston Club in March.
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The PS 98 PTA’s annual spring fund-raiser will include all the things one would expect from an evening themed “Casino Royale”: craps, Black Jack, Texas Hold ’em, booze — everything, that is, except for the “G” word.

“The Department of Education doesn’t like the word ‘gamble,’ so we’re calling it the Casino Royale Spring Fling,” said Jacqueline Montgomery. The fund-raiser’s chairwoman said last year’s Casino Royale was such a success, the PTA decided to replicate it.

Proceeds from the fund-raiser, which will be held March 23 at the Douglaston Club, at 600 West Drive, will help provide supplemental arts and science programs for the students at the Douglaston elementary school next year.

Montgomery, a Douglaston resident, said the school has not had a proper art program since at least seven years ago, when her oldest son started there.

“There wasn’t enough money in the budget for an art teacher, so the gym teacher would provide arts and crafts,” she said.

Proceeds from the fund-raiser allow the PTA to contract with outside vendors, who come into the school and give lessons on topics such as calligraphy, architecture and famous painters for each K-5 student once a week.

“If we didn’t have the fund-raiser, we wouldn’t be able to have this, and we would be brought down to the basics of arts and crafts,” she said.

The donated dollars also are used to purchase materials to help teachers in the science classrooms.

“When it comes to the science programming that we hope to develop, we are looking to provide the children with well-rounded curricula that will instill the love of all the sciences,” Montgomery said.

In order to achieve its ambitious fund-raising goal of $30,000 gross, the PTA this year is starting an alumni foundation to reach out to the 50 or so graduates of PS 98 still living in the Douglaston area.

Tickets for the evening cost $85 per person and businesses can make a contribution by writing a check for $4,000 to sponsor a room or for $200 to sponsor a gaming table where the dealer will wear a company’s pin and distribute tokens promoting the business.

The PTA is also looking for donations such as gift certificates or new items — Montgomery suggests unopened holiday gifts — that would make good raffle prizes.

The dress code will be cocktail attire and attendees can spend their night dancing, throwing around some funny money at the different tables or partaking of the club’s food and open bar.

“It isn’t your average cupcake sale.” Montgomery said.

To purchase tickets or find out how to contribute, e-mail Jacqueline Montgomery at

Reach reporter Rich Bockmann by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4574.

Posted 12:14 am, February 16, 2012
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