By Misty DUPLESSIS
A very cloudy and slightly wet morning greeted Mountain Avenue Elementary runners last Friday, Nov. 19. The weather didn’t appear to dampen spirits of the student body, however, as students prepared for the school’s fourth annual jog-a-thon.
The event is traditionally held this time of the year due to the cooler temperatures. Parent Nicole McNevin was happy that it wasn’t so hot. “[It’s] better for them to run in,” she said of the mid-50s temperature.
The fundraiser is put on by the school’s MACK (Mountain Avenue Committed to Kids) foundation, an organization that promotes quality education supported by the school’s staff and parents.
Parent and jog-a-thon host Skip McNevin sent words of encouragement to the students as they made their way around the track.
“The Jog-a-thon is one of the schools primary fundraiser,” he said. “The kids enjoy it because they feel empowered to help the school through their efforts.”
Every year the school aims at raising at least $20,000. This year’s goal is $22,000 with the funds designated for the school’s computer lab and upgrades to the library. Some of the money raised will also go toward the yearly sixth grade field trip to Washington, DC.
Parent Vanetta Barton endorsed the jog-a-thon. “This is a good event,” she said, adding that every year the school has been raising more and more money.
The students worked hard to get sponsorships from family members, friends and neighbors. Some donors pledge a flat fee while others commit to donating an amount per lap ran by the student. As an added bonus, students who raised more than $100 will be invited to attend a party where they have a chance at winning prizes such as iPods, gift certificates to ice skating rinks, clothes, Disneyland tickets and Lakers tickets donated by more than two dozen local businesses.
“The incentives are great strategies for helping the school meet its goals for the event,” said McNevin. “The community support helps with the effort the kids put in.”
As event host, he added that he was proud that the school is successful in meeting its goals each year and this year hopes for the same success.
For more information visit www.mountainavenue.org.