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Students Jog to Raise Money for Schools
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Hailey youngsters seem to get a charge out of running, and on Friday they put jogging to good use.
   
Tuesday, April 30, 2024
 

STORY AND PHOTO BY KAREN BOSSICK

The weather forecast was not promising, what with rain predicted by 11 in the morning. But it held off nearly until the end of the school day Friday, allowing students from Alturas and Hailey elementary schools to take part in jog-a-thons designed to raise money for the schools.

It was the first jog-a-thon for Alturas Elementary School, with the parent teacher organization staging it after witnessing the success of Hailey Elementary School’s initial jog-a-thon last year.

Their goal: To raise $10,000 for a digital signboard marking the entrance to the school, which is tucked away behind a residential neighborhood in Hailey. The signboard will alert parents to school activities, job openings, parent-teacher conferences, closings and openings, said Mattie Mulick, a member of the Alturas Elementary School PTO.

Kids were given 15 minutes to run as many laps as they could, either raising money per lap or as one lump sum. Participating students were entered into a raffle with a Trailhead bicycle the main prize.

Classes took their turns with some starting at 8 in the morning and others finishing at 2. Music, bubbles and snacks upped the charged atmosphere.

“We put on a harvest festival in the fall around Halloween but we were looking for a spring fundraiser. We’d heard about Hailey Elmentary’s first jog-a thon. They’d made quite a bit of money and gotten the whole school involved so we thought we would jump on it,” said Mulick. “It’s a good way to get every one involved in something that promotes active healthy living.”

Before the jog-a-thon even started, Alturas Elementary School had raised $11,365 from 209 supporters who signed on to http://givebutter.com/alturasjogathon. While the bulk of funds raised will go to the signboard, 20 percent of what each class raised will go back to that classroom to buy supplies for various class projects.

Just up the road Hailey Elementary was conducting their second jog-a-thon. Each student had 20 minutes to run 1/8-mile laps, their reward a rubber band around their wrist each time they completed their lap, the cheers from parent volunteers and a certificate with the numbers of laps run.

Their mission was to raise money for general funds benefitting the school, said Jess Reeves, president of the Hailey Elementary School PTA.

“We came up with the idea for the jog-a-thon last year when we were planning our fundraisers,” she said. “We really wanted to do something that engaged the students--something they would be a big part of.  A lot of us as parents were done with all the catalog sales.  We felt like we had to buy stuff we didn't need for too much money, plus shipping.  These sales often don't really engage the kids either.  When we discovered the Give Butter site (www.givebutter.com) that allows us to collect 100% of our donations, we felt like we had to give it a try.  In the end, we raised over $16,000 and the kids LOVED it and felt so empowered.”

Hailey PTA members didn’t think twice about putting on another jog-a-thon this year, Reeves said.

“The run is a lot of fun. We started announcing it to students in March by dressing up as the runners and interrupting their monthly morning assembly.  As PTA president, parent, and substitute teacher at the school, I have had students asking me about this event since last year.  Since beginning the pledge/donation collection process, they often stop me in the hallway to tell me how much money they have raised.  It is very fun to see their excitement.”

Mulick is already looking forward to next year’s jog-a-thon, and she’s looking to up the ante.

“We thought maybe we can have a competition between Hailey and Alturas in the future!”

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