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Boo Blast postponed

The El Morro Elementary School Boo Blast may have been rescheduled for 2:30 to 7:30 p.m. Nov. 9 — two weeks later than its original date — but it will still have all the trimmings of a harvest-time bash.

Air quality concerns due to the recent wildfires led organizers to postpone the annual festival.

The El Morro “Boo Blast At Last!” Fall Carnival, originally slated for Oct. 26, will feature a cake walk, carnival rides, an array of booths featuring games and prizes, popcorn, churros, a bake sale, a raffle and a silent auction of class baskets.

The postponed event left Johnny Greco of Johnny’s New York Pizza and Sandwiches up to his eyeballs in hundreds of pounds of unused food that would have been donated to the event.

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The El Morro PTA elected to reschedule the Scooby-Doo-themed event after Halloween, but fears the Boo Blast will quickly drop from parents’ and kids’ radar; attendance is key to ensuring the PTA doesn’t incur a large financial loss for the event.

“We’re doing it for the kids,” PTA President and Boo Blast Chair Lynn Gregory said. “The reaction when they heard it was canceled was really sweet — some were in tears. They love the Boo Blast, and I don’t think its going to matter to them what day it’s held. We are concerned with turnout and hope that everyone will be able to make it.

“About $13,000 has been spent already on deposits and payments for rides, booths, banners, prizes, T-shirts and transportation for the event. Even though we have generous sponsors and do all we can to keep costs down, this is a costly event. We need a big turnout, and we need to fulfill our commitments to our sponsors.”

Last weekend’s football game was also rescheduled for Monday night, which meant decreased crowds and demands for Greco’s food, which the company serves at the high school on game nights.

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Since its opening this spring, the restaurant has become known for its authentic Philly cheese steak and panini sandwiches, and of course its pizza pies.

So Greco and his staff found themselves with thousands of dollars worth of produce, meats and dough, some of which have been thrown away or donated.

Following a marketing blast by Gregory, teachers, district administrators and parents have been ordering from or dining at the pizzeria on a more frequent basis to help make up for the loss.

“She’s one of my main heroes there,” Greco said of Gregory. “They have great hearts — all of them,” Greco added, regarding his patrons.

“It’s great to see the community rally around a business that has been very supportive of the kids,” Gregory said. “We are hoping that the community spirit that supported Johnny’s will turn out for us on Nov. 9. It’s a win-win event — a chance to have a great time with your kids and family, see neighbors and friends and support a local school.”

Greco still plans to offer food at the rescheduled Boo Blast, but his personal quality requirements make him refuse to save any of the previously ordered foods for the event.

The restaurant is at 202 Park Ave. #B, behind the Chantilly ice cream shop at Forest Avenue and Coast Highway.

Parking is available at Crystal Cove State Park; free shuttles will be provided. Adult- and child-sized T-shirts can be purchased by calling Angela Schipp at (949) 464-1901.

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