The Latest Gator Blast


DES PTO Gator Blast E-mail
Week of November 27- December 3, 2022 
Welcome Back!


This week:
Thursday 12/1- Holiday Shoppe
A look ahead:
Monday 12/5- Picture Retakes
Thursday 12/8- Dining for DES at MOD Pizza
Friday 12/9- Harlem Wizards at SRHS
Thursday 12/22- Polar Express Day
Friday 12/23 to Friday 12/30- Schools Closed for Christmas/Winter Break

The News:

Harlem Wizards
We have just 12 days until the Harlem Wizards game on Friday, December 9th. We hope everyone is excited! There is very little time to get your tickets, and they are almost sold out, so don’t wait too much longer! If you still need tickets, you can purchase them by clicking here. Want to help out at the event? Click here to sign up to volunteer. Below are a few details to keep in mind about the event.

Event Details:
-Game location is in the South River High School gymnasium at 201 Central Ave., Edgewater
-Doors Open at 6 pm
-Game starts at 7 pm and ends at 9 pm
-Tickets must be printed and brought to the event. Tickets will be scanned at the door

At the event, we will have the following:
-A 50/50 Cash raffle
-Concessions to purchase
-Harlem Wizards Merchandise for sale

See the attached flyer for up-to-date team information.

Harlem Wizards Drawing
Congratulations, Connor Fisher of 3rd grade, for winning our week 6 Harlem Wizards prize drawing. Connor won a Harlem Wizards Shooting Sleeve! If you haven’t entered your students yet, you can enter them by clicking here. You only need to enter one time to be entered in all the drawings. We have three more drawings!

Yearbook Photos Wanted!
The yearbook staff would like your help. If you have pictures from the following events, please email them to: 

  • Skate Night
  • Book Fair and Ice Cream Social
  • Unity Day
  • Halloween Party
  • Halloween Parade
Please include the Grade and Event in the Subject line and be sure all files are in jpeg or gif format.

Holiday Shoppe
The Holiday Shoppe is Thursday, December 1st, from 5 pm- 8 pm. The suggested times to shop on the flyer (see the attached flyer for more information) are only suggestions, and families are invited to shop at times that are most convenient for them. Please remember that this is a cash-only event.

We could still use help with clean up after the event. If you are able to help, please sign up by clicking here. Clean-up starts immediately at the end of the event, and the more help we have, the faster we all get home! Please email Kristen Dixon at with any questions.

*The PTO will have a table set up with information on how to sign up for PTO Membership, The Gator Blast, and volunteer opportunities.

Holiday Shoppe Bake Sale
Support our PTO by coming to our Holiday Shoppe hungry! Many delicious treats will be available for purchase while the kids shop. Treats will be sold for $0.50 each, and water for $1.00. Cash Only. 

2022 DES Ornament
Limited Edition 2022 DES Ornaments will be for sale in the cafeteria at the Holiday Shoppe. Be sure to get one for each child. They are $6 each, Cash Only. Proceeds will go to the DES PTO. If you would like an ornament but wont make the event, email

Coat Drive
The DES coat drive is continuing thru December 1st, with final contributions being accepted during the Holiday Shoppe. We are currently accepting new and gently used coats of all sizes, both adult and child sizes. We have 113 coats presently, and our goal is 400. Coats are being donated to Mills Parole Elementary School in Annapolis, where the student poverty rate is approximately 96%; thank you for your generosity and support of the children in our community during this holiday season. If you have any questions, please email Jill Rosato. See the attached flyer for more information.

Special Project
We are looking for someone crafty to help us design our new volunteer aprons. The PTO has purchased 24 aprons for our volunteers to be more easily identified during events. We would love to have someone add a little DES flair to these aprons. If you have a crafty side and are interested in taking on this project, please contact us by emailing us at

Volunteer Spotlight
The Harlem Wizards game is just around the corner on December 9th at South River High School. This is one of our major fundraisers for the year, and it’s going to be an amazing event! An event of this magnitude could not happen without many volunteers, and DES is lucky to have dads like Jere Lorenzen-Strait who are willing to make it all happen.

Jere (Papa) and his husband Andrew (Dadda) have three children. Eloisa is in 3rd grade with Mrs. LeFaive, Dulcie is in Kindergarten with Mrs. Sis, and Johannes is a future Gator in preschool. Their family loves to have campfires in the yard, dress up and go to the Renaissance Festival, and make crepes on Saturday mornings. Jere enjoys baking cookies with the kids, learning about local plants and animals, and weaving on his standing loom.

When Jere was asked why he volunteers, he said, “As a working parent, it is tricky to find time to volunteer at school. Thankfully our PTO provides lots of opportunities to support our kids, even amidst the craziness of home and work life. DES is a fantastic school community, and I want to support the good work of our school’s teachers and leadership team.”

Bus Driver Appreciation Day

We celebrated our fantastic School Bus Drivers before the Thanksgiving break! Traditionally, on the Friday before Thanksgiving week, the PTO plans a little treat for the caring bus drivers who keep our kids safe to and from school. With the support of the Edgewater Chick-Fil-A, we provided each bus driver a hot breakfast sandwich, fruit cup, water bottle, and a little gift card. We know how challenging transportation is nowadays, and we are thankful for all our drivers. We have some amazing folks, like Mr. Chester, who came out of retirement to drive one of our DES routes this year! This was just a small way to show our appreciation, be sure to say “Thank you” to our drivers whenever you have a chance!

Fall Pictures
It’s not too late to get your Fall Student Photos ordered, but don’t wait too long; the deadline is quickly approaching. Order by December 1st for delivery by December 23rd. Click here to place your order. Use the Access Code that was provided on your proof.

Dine For DES
Mark your calendar for our Dine for DES at MOD Pizza. This event is open all day on Thursday, December 8th. MOD Pizza is located at 2341 Forest Drive, Suite P in Annapolis, at the Festival at Riva Shopping Center. This is a great excuse to take the day off cooking while earning money for the DES PTO. See the attached flyer for more information.

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PTO Executive Board 2022/2023:
President – Jen Hurst
VP Communications – Laura Call
VP Volunteer Coordinator – Cathy Rutkowski
VP Fundraising – Robyn Davis
Secretary – Samantha Rhinehardt
Treasurer – Anne Schneider
Asst. Treasurer – Dan Walsh
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