Mother Nature smiled on the hundreds of laughing children enjoying the games and food at Eugene Field Elementary School's block party on Saturday, April 8. The sunny day was among the warmest this spring.

Mother Nature smiled on the hundreds of laughing children enjoying the games and food at Eugene Field Elementary School's block party on Saturday, April 8. The sunny day was among the warmest this spring.

This was the first fundraiser for Field School's project for new playground equipment, according to teacher Annie Massie.

Massie explained that as leader of the playground committee, she helped organize the party with the help of many others, including teachers, parents and volunteers, adding, “It's got to be a community thing.”

Several children especially enjoyed throwing a wet sponge at the face of the school principal, Marty Hull.

While many children attending were Field School students, others were brought by families and were also riding a small train, playing games and eating hamburgers and quarter-pound hot dogs.

Fifth grade teacher Melissa Zimmerman was among the people selling tickets to the students' parents. Many students had a long string of the 25-cent tickets, including fifth grader Andrew Crim. He had already enjoyed throwing the sponge at Hull, the cake walk and the football throw.

One volunteer group leading the games had a connection to the school. They are cheerleaders at Hannibal Middle School, and their leader, Carmen Ott, is also a kindergarten teacher at Field School.

Middle School student Hannah Otten was volunteering at the toilet paper game, where one student competing was first grader Kaylee Lester. Kaylee's mother explained the family just moved from Texas to Hannibal three weeks ago.

The bounce house was popular, as children were given about four minutes for each ticket.

Another popular event was riding a small train driven by Jeff Porter. He explained the Huber company of Illinois had donated the use of its train.

Others won prizes in the egg hunt, such as Tyler White, who was happy to win a Woody doll. Both he and his younger brother, Zeke, enjoyed riding the little train.

Sisters Alyssa and Ashlynn Thomas were excited about the the large toy animals they won in the football toss.

Teachers Michelle Huseman and Jennifer Kimbrell manned a table where many baskets of raffle prizes were ready for the drawings. Children had the opportunity to choose a favorite gift basket and put a ticket in the bucket in front of it.

Girl Scout leader Dawn Christal, who explained she also is a member of Field School PTL, was selling Girl Scout cookies, reporting tagalongs were the most popular flavor.

Reach reporter Bev Darr at bev.darr@courierpost.com.