However, Powers, who counts herself an opponent of
Schwarzenegger's policies and a fan of his movies, has a backup plan.
With the Fall Fair approaching -- it's on Oct. 29 -- the PTA
president has invited Schwarzenegger to join a limbo contest to help
raise funds for the school.
"I definitely think he'd be more willing to participate if we did
something on that end," Powers said. "I bet his security team would
be much happier not having him in a dunk tank. Trying to keep track
of someone in a dunk tank is probably harder than keeping track of
him under a limbo stick."
Powers, in the letter sent to the governor's office last week,
invited Schwarzenegger to join in the contest so the PTA could sell
tickets to limbo with the governor. At the same time, she urged him
to attend the event as a way of bettering relations with local
"What a great way to show some good support for us, in a time when
so many feel there is little," Powers wrote in the letter. "We
respectfully agree to disagree with your initiatives that take away
from our schools and teachers, therefore affecting our children."
Newport Elementary's Fall Fair is the school's largest annual
fundraiser, with Newport Beach police, firefighters and lifeguards
joining the celebration on the beach. The event features music, food
and competitions to raise funds for the PTA. However, those in the
Newport Elementary community, including Powers, agree that the
chances of a Schwarzenegger visit are slim.
"We've reached out to even the White House for our Proud to be an
American Day that we've had on our campus before," said Gary Jabara,
president of the Newport Elementary Foundation. "We've contacted ...
[former Rep. Chris] Cox's office and those kind of folks.
Unfortunately, we're a small school on the beach and these are very
In case the Schwarzenegger invitation came to naught, Powers had a
backup plan: shortly after messaging the governor's office, she
e-mailed comedian Ellen DeGeneres to ask her to visit Newport
Elementary in Schwarzenegger's place, sitting over the dunk tank in a
rubber Arnold mask.
In the end, though, state guidelines negated the idea altogether.
Sandy Fridwall, an account manager for the insurance company
Armstrong & Robitaille, said the state PTA had banned, for safety
reasons, dunk tanks, bounce houses and other activities for the last
Undaunted, Powers came up with the limbo competition. With the PTA
still awaiting a response from the governor's office, however, Fall
Fair participants are skeptical about the odds.
"I'm sure if the governor makes it, it will be a very interesting
afternoon," said Sgt. Bill Hartford of the Newport Beach Police
Department. "We'll look forward to seeing him there."