NewsPositively Montana


Saturday Live raises $62,000 for school groups in first outdoor carnival since 2018

Saturday Live Skyview BPA
Posted at 12:33 PM, Dec 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-17 14:33:05-05

BILLINGS — Saturday Live's triumphant return outdoors was a rousing success.

The carnival, held every September by the Billings Education Foundation to benefit the public school system, raised $62,000 for participating school groups. By comparison, only $2,100 total was raised by school groups in 2020-21 combined after the COVID-19 pandemic canceled the carnival in favor a fun run. $43,000 was raised in 2019, when the carnival was forced inside Skyview High School due to a winter storm.

2022's revenue almost matched the $64,000 raised during the last outdoor carnival in 2018.

"It is the biggest fundraiser of the year," said Skyview senior Jessica Walks.

Walks and the rest of her Business Professionals of America club members remember it well, after they set up four different booths to raise money.

"I did a soccer kick," said fellow senior Jacob Hanson. "We set up a goal, and gave kids candy if they made it in. (Jessica) did facepainting - bless her for doing that."

"We had an endless line. Everybody wanted their faces painted," Walks said. "My favorite design was definitely the Minnie Mouse. It was a little bow on the forehead and some whiskers. It was the easiest one, and the most fun for me."

Saturday Live Face Painting
Madeline Tranel (right) helps Skyview's Business Professionals of America club raise money by painting faces during Saturday Live on Sept. 24, 2022.

It’s a blend of fun and future for Walks, who used the Saturday Live booth as business training.

"They're my favorite classes I've taken at Skyview," she said. "It showed me that I want to be in a business field in the future, and what I'm going to major in, so it's been a lot of fun for me.”

"We approached it as a business," Hanson said. "We tried to make it fun for the kids, but the bottom line was trying to build funds."

Skyview BPA estimated that they raised several thousand dollars during Saturday Live. It helped pay for Hanson, Walks and others to go to regional and national conferences, but more importantly, it felt like normal again.

"I always enjoyed Saturday Live when I was a kid," Walks said, "so it was great to experience working it because I remember when I was in their place."

Participating Saturday Live groups will use the funds in a variety of ways including teacher grants, field trips, playground equipment, team activities and more.