Taking a winter break

HOUGHTON – Five-year-old Nathan Heckel stood in the middle of a small plastic pool as a giant soap bubble was pulled up over his body by a man holding a large round bubble wand, and he looked like he wasn’t quite certain what was happening.

After having three bubbles pulled over his body, Nathan seemed to enjoy the experience.

Nathan, his 6-year-old brother, Patrick, and his mother, Mary, were attending the Michigan Tech Preschool Cabin Fever Carnival Saturday at the Michigan Technological University Memorial Union Building.

The theme of the event was pirates, and Mary Heckel said that was part of the reason the family attended.

“It sounded like a lot of fun, and they’re really into pirates,” she said.

Heather Miller, chair of Cabin Fever Carnival, said the event started about 20 years ago as a fundraiser for the preschool.

“We use the money for the teachers and supplies,” she said.

The preschool is a non profit organization, and the parents, who are members of the board of directors, run the school. The school is for 3- and 4-year-old children, who attend for half days.

Miller said the events Saturday included face painting, temporary tattoo applications, lucky ducks (plastic ducks floating in water with prizes listed underneath them), deep sea fishing and pin the patch on the pirate, which is a variation of pin the tail on the donkey.

The Tech Mind Trekkers also conducted science demonstrations for the children, including the giant soap bubble. The Mind Trekkers are Tech students who present science demonstrations to school children in an effort to demystify science.

The day included a silent auction for items including Tech athletic event tickets, Finlandia University sportswear, a weekend for two in Green Bay and a night at the Copper Crown Hotel in Hancock.

Miller said 150 local sponsors helped fund the Cabin Fever Carnival, which is an important annual event for the preschool. Last year more than $3,000 was raised.

“It’s our biggest fundraiser of the year,” she said.