Chamisa Elementary was all a glow

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By Bernadette Lauritzen

What do you get when you mix fresh fruit donated from Smith’s, a great idea, a lot of participation and a little perspiration?
 You get the first annual Atomic City Glow Run, held May 18 at Chamisa Elementary School.
 The event had 100 registered participants and family members ranging in age from 10-month-old Linus Ploss to some who would prefer not to reveal their age.
 “Last summer when we met as a new PTO we discussed new things that we could try this year,” Parent Teacher Organization President Trisha Colin said. “We had heard of color runs and night runs, and so the Atomic Glow Run was born!”
 The idea was not only seen as fun, but a fundraiser for the whole family.
 White Rock was a glow as participants took off for a 5K run and a one-mile fun run, all kicked off by the Chamisa Cheetah, after a few motivating warm up exercises.
 “We had over 120 runners, about half participating in the one mile and the others in the 5K,” Principal Debbie Smith said. “Davey Torres finished first on the 5K. Our first place youth finisher in the 5K was our own third grader, Wakeiyo Hettinga. The one mile top finishers were sixth graders, Amy Littleton and Haley Capon.”
 The Cheetah Pride hopes to install a new track after a few more fundraising dollars are secure. The track would not only benefit the school running program, but provide a boost to physical education classes.
  “Trisha (Conlin) and (husband) Jeremy also sponsored a Chamisa running club (Cross Country Kids) twice a week before school this year in order to promote fitness for life,” Smith said. “Parents and students have been so appreciative and runners have accumulated miles and miles along with feet charms for their running chains.”
The Chamisa PTO fundraising efforts have been very successful this year, raising more than $25,000 to fund playground shade structures ($10,000), field trips ($1,100), online learning ($4,500), classroom needs ($3,500), summer reading ($600), Los Alamos High School scholarships ($500) and more.
 The group hopes to install the shade structures this summer, and are working on a grant to improve and expand the running track and continue with grounds improvements.
 “Thank you to everyone who donates through Los Alamos National Laboratory and United Way donations, Scrips and Smith’s gift cards and direct donations. We are collaborating to provide wonderful opportunities for the community,” Smith said.
“I love asking Boyd Moffett, store manager, (also a Chamisa Dad), if Smith’s would be willing to donate. He is so helpful and ever so nice,” Conlin said.
Los Alamos National Bank also stepped in to sponsor the purchase of the Atomic Glow Run T-shirts.