Johnston County

Archer Lodge girl, 9, planning back-to-school outdoor movie night

A 9-year-old girl from Archer Lodge is staging the town’s first outdoor movie night for kids.

In addition to working with her family to recruit sponsors for the inaugural event, Marissa Stone – the reigning Little Miss Archer Lodge – has made sure movie night has a charitable angle.

Incorporating a back-to-school theme into the event, Stone is asking attendees to bring a school supply or donate $5 to gain admission to the movie. Stone said she’ll donate the supplies to needy families around Archer Lodge and to local schools.

“The parents won’t have to go to stores and get crayons, backpacks and other supplies,” she said. “They won’t have to spend as much money.”

It was Stone’s idea to bring something new to the Archer Lodge Community Center, where the screening is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 18. She said one of the hardest parts about organizing the screening was picking a movie.

“There are lots of famous movies little kids like,” Stone said.

She ultimately decided on “An American Tail,” the 1986 animated story of a Russian mouse who gets separated form his family while immigrating to the United States.

“I chose one that kids may not have seen before that I think they’ll really like,” Stone said. “There are lots of surprises in it.”

Stone’s mother, Lisa Lisk, said the sponsors they’ve recruited have taken care of everything. The nonprofit Archer Lodge Community Center agreed to host the movie, and Traveling Screens of Garner is donating the outdoor screen for the movie, Lisk said.

Area businesses owned by family friends and neighbors helped pay for the movie. “Everything is 100 percent sponsored,” Lisk said.

Stone has completed other community service projects with her Girl Scout troop, like visiting nursing homes and making bags for youngsters in a children’s home.

Stone said she watches movies every Friday night with her mom and younger sister. She said she’s excited to share that experience with others on Aug. 18.

“I’ve watched ‘An American Tail’ before, and I really liked it,” she said.

Nash Dunn: 919-553-7234 Ext. 104, @Nash_Dunn

If you go

What: A screening of “An American Tail” at the inaugural Back-to School Outdoor Movie Night.

When: 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 18.

Where: Archer Lodge Community Center, 14009 Buffalo Road.