By Mary O’KEEFE
Crescenta Valley elementary students are jogging to support their schools.
Dunsmore Elementary held its annual jog-a-thon a few weeks ago and raised over $14,000 for the school. The funds from the PTA sponsored event will go toward enrichment programs, assemblies and similar activities according to Audra Magee, event chairperson.
The fundraiser combines exercise, school spirit and support and has become a very popular event at local schools.
Three years ago Mountain Avenue Elementary students joined the jog-a-thon craze and have not looked back.
On Friday students jogged around the upper field for their Annual Jog-A-Thon. The fundraiser benefits MACK (Mountain Avenue is Committed to Kids), the school’s foundation.
“This has become one of our biggest fundraisers of the year,” said Skip McNevin, Mountain Avenue’s jog-a-thon chair. “This type of fundraiser is unique because it allows the kids to contribute directly. Other fundraisers have parents bidding during silent auctions. This money is raised not just by asking family and friends but by running and walking the laps combining healthy choices with supporting the school.”
Some ran for awhile and then mixed walking with running. Then there was fourth grader Colin Fitzpatrick who just ran, strong and steady, barely slowing down when the volunteers marked his lap sheet. At the end of the 20 minute running period he had logged 32 laps.
He said he could have gone for more.
“I am part of the Falcon Running Club,” Colin explained.
The sixth graders had an added benefit from their run: part of the proceeds went to their sixth grade trip to Washington, D.C.
McNevin said with the current economic conditions it has been difficult raising funds. He was grateful to the businesses that help support the fundraiser. Ralphs and Trader Joe’s markets donated the water and oranges.
“Several businesses donated items as raffle prizes,” he added.
Students who raised $100 or more will be treated to a DJ party in the school’s auditorium and they will get a chance to win several raffle prizes.
“We have had many local businesses donate items like free food coupons,” he said.
The Los Angeles Lakers pitched in with a donation that included an autographed picture of Kobe Bryant.
“And the Alliance for a Healthier Generation partnered with us this year,” McNevin said.
The alliance is part of the American Heart Association and donated educational information for teachers and students. The organization also donated many give-away prizes for the students.
This year the foundation’s goal is to raise $23,000.
“Last year our goal was $21,000 and we raised $22,000. We hope we will meet our goal this year,” McNevin said.