WEST MIDDLESEX — The rain held off just long enough Saturday for an afternoon of activities at Nancy’s Tavern in West Middlesex.
But there was a purpose to the afternoon — to raise money for Marla’s Notebooks, a charity in memory of Marla Pivarnik to help give students the school supplies they might not otherwise get.
Marla, a former student at the West Middlesex Area School District, had graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 2013 and planned to get her master’s degree in psychology from the University of Pittsburgh, but died in her sleep due to an accidental overdose from prescriptions from two different physicians.
Marla’s mother, Melinda Pivarnik, organized Marla’s Notebooks to help commemorate Marla and one of Marla’s favorite activities — buying supplies in preparation for the new year.
Marla’s Notebooks has held distributions at West Middlesex for the last two years, but Melinda said this year was the first cornhole tournament fundraiser held at Nancy’s Tavern.
“It was actually a father and daughter team that won the cornhole tournament, so that was pretty cool,” Melinda said.
Planning for the event only began a couple of months ago, when manager Bobby Hazlett mentioned to Dominick Daloni — a friend of Marla’s and board member with Marla’s Notebooks — about wanting to do a cornhole tournament, which led to the event helping to raise funds for the program.
Among the activities were a cornhole tournament with a $20 entry fee and a Chinese auction, with 19 baskets and gift certificates provided by local businesses. Nancy’s Tavern also hosted a 50-50 raffle, Melinda said.
A supply drive was held at Melinda’s workplace, Primary Health Network, which gathered about seven bins of supplies, including pencils, glue sticks, markers and highlighters.
“It’s neat because people go out and they enjoy picking things that they think the children will like,” Melinda said.
This year, “Marla Makes a Difference” will help not only students at West Middlesex, but also Musser Elementary School in Sharon. Between fourth, fifth and sixth grades at both districts and the senior class at West Middlesex, Melinda said about 403 students will receive supplies.
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