Mountain Elementary’s new fundraiser a huge success

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By Kirsten Laskey

At Mountain Elementary School, students selling popcorn cans, wrapping paper and candy were pushed aside in favor of another fundraising effort.

Rather than trekking miles around neighborhoods selling novelties door-to-door, Mountain Elementary students will walk around the track at Sullivan Field.

The fundraiser, called “FUN”d Run, invited students to send out sponsor letters to family members and friends, asking them to sponsor them as they walk around the track, Robbie Harris, Parent Teacher Association president, said.

Using a map, the school staff traced where all the money has been sent from. There are dots from Alaska to the East Coast.

The runs will happen from 8:30-11:30 a.m. Wednesday at the high school track. Students will walk a half hour to 45 minutes. During the walk, it will be participation, not how much money each student raised, that will be celebrated.

Harris said every student who sent out 20 or more sponsor letters will get a medal, regardless of whether these letter recipients sent money. Furthermore, the class in both the upper and lower grades that has the highest number of mailed sponsor letters will get an ice cream party.

The success of this fundraiser is incredible.

More than $25,000 has been raised during this fundraiser. Best of all, Harris said, none of the profits have to be shared with the popcorn or candy company; the school keeps it all. Besides, last year’s traditional fundraiser only took in $12,000, Harris said.

“We are obviously thrilled that it’s been that successful,” Gerry Washburn, principal at Mountain Elementary School, said.

It’s not just about the money, Washburn said, the fundraiser has benefited the school in other ways, too.

He pointed out the school was able to incorporate fundraising and physical activity. Plus, the whole family could get into the fun.

“The nice thing about this one is it encourages good health,” Harris said.

Plus, “the nice thing is it’s going to be a yearly fundraiser,” he said, “from this point forward I think there’s going to be a lot more buy-in … it’s going to become more of a community-type of event.

The level of interest is already huge. Harris said 60 percent Mountain students have decided to participate in the walk.

Harris said the “FUN”d Run was created when the PTA was brainstorming new ideas for fundraisers. Theresa Kretts, a PTA member and committee chairwoman of the fundraiser, thought up the event, Harris said.

The advantages of the new fundraiser are felt by students and fundraiser supporters.

Harris said students do not need to walk all over their neighborhoods.

Additionally, Washburn said, “I think, number one, the fact that people didn’t have to figure whether or not it was something they could use.” People didn’t have to add to their collection of stale candy or piles of wrapping paper. He congratulated the PTA for taking this risk. “The PTA took a leap of faith … and it’s been incredibly successful.”