Thomas Jefferson

High School | Home of the Spartans


Posted 12/05/2016 by Jordan Prochnow

artwork by Kathryn Lepry

TJ’s 28th annual ArtFest returns on December 10th, promising another year of phenomenal goods from local vendors. 

On Saturday, December 10th, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., the 28th annual TJ Artfest fundraiser, where the purchase of unique items from talented artists and artisans will benefit teachers and students alike. The ArtFest is a major fundraiser for the TJ community, providing funds for classroom grants, teacher appreciation, and more.

This year’s ArtFest experience will start as shoppers arrive on campus, as patrons will be greeted by a miniature version of a Christmas tree lot. Run by volunteers and members of the Optimist Club of South Monaco, the tree lot will have pre-ordered trees available for pick up, as well as a handful of trees to purchase on site. In addition to the tree lot, there will be a fire pit warming area on the concrete TJ logo in front of the school, complete with adirondack chairs to provide an apres ski vibe for patrons. Those who want to take a break from shopping by socializing or enjoying a hot refreshment (for purchase inside!) are welcome to do so while staying warm during our chilly Colorado winter. Once inside, shoppers can indulge in a Pancake Breakfast for purchase in the lobby, run by Optimist Club members. Following breakfast, a chili lunch, provided by local restaurant Sam’s No. 3, will be available to purchase as well.

The main attraction of ArtFest is the Artisan Fair held in the gymnasium, where 65-75 local vendors will have merchandise for sale. Many of the items for purchase are handmade, and shoppers can feel proud to support local businesses and entrepreneurs. While parents shop, energetic kids can have a rumpus in the KidsZone, sponsored by the Children’s Museum of Denver, located in the dance room offset from the gym. Kids will be entertained with various activities including holiday crafts and a visit from Santa Claus (from noon until 3 p.m.).

Coupled with the Artisan Fair, the TJ Book Sale will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the cafeteria. Donated books, CDs, and movies from a plethora of genres are available to purchase at low prices, making great holiday gifts for the bibliophile, audiophile, or cinephile in your life. During the last hour of the Book Sale,  all books will be offered at “fire sale” discounts; the “Bag Sale” occurs when an entire bag of books can be purchased at an extremely low cost. All proceeds from the Book Sale will go towards benefitting TJ students and teachers.

While vendor fees and proceeds from the Book Sale, Pancake Breakfast, and Chili Lunch will generally benefit the teachers and students of TJ, certain clubs, organizations, and classes within the school will have designated booths, where the proceeds will go to their dedicated cause. Students are encouraged to volunteer to assist in setting up for ArtFest on Friday, December 9th, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., and on Saturday from 7 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Students, family members, and community members can also sign up to work at designated booths, become “Santa’s helpers” for the kids in attendance, and other important jobs. “I love to see it when our kids are out in the community, helping out and giving back,” said Principal Mike Christoff. “My hope is that our students find the value in volunteering and that it becomes a lifelong pursuit for them.”

ArtFest is organized by the PTO community, the hard working parents, alumni, and community members that organize many events and fundraisers to provide for the school and its inhabitants. ArtFest has been spearheaded by Spartan parent and PTO member Kathryn Lepry for the past two  years, and she has organized new and exciting features for the event each year. “It’s a great time! There is something for everyone and it always proves to be a very fun day,” said Lepry. She also explained that supporting the arts in our community by shopping local is important, and reinvests in our economy. Interested volunteers can sign up in front of the main office or by clicking here