Blackberry Creek runs for funds

By on October 19, 2012

Photo: The first Blackberry Creek Elementary Run for Funds took place on
Friday. Kids ran during the day and had a Family Fun Night during the evening. Here, a group of students runs around the school during the day. Photo by
Kimberly Anderson

by Susan O’Neill
KANELAND—Kaneland Blackberry Creek Elementary School’s inaugural Run for Funds event last Friday was a big success. The weather cooperated, students enjoyed some exercise, and the Blackberry Creek Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) netted $10,000.

According to Blackberry Creek gym teacher Jamie Holubecki, the event had two goals: to promote fitness and raise money for the school. Organized by the Blackberry Creek PTO and coordinated with the teachers, the Run for Funds event involved each grade spending an hour outside, walking (or running) laps around the school.

The children could give and/or collect donations from friends and family members, using a donation sheet that supported their activity. The PTO offered prizes for every level of donations collected, from $5 on up, including water bottles, T-shirts, pedometers and an iPod Touch.

“Staff has been so supportive,” PTO President Kathy Webster said on the day of the event. “It’s been a great team effort.”

Webster and other PTO members were at the school, cheering on the students alongside gym, music, art, literacy and computer teachers.

By the end of the hour for fifth-graders, student Max Drancik had completed 10 laps around the school. According to Webster, two laps around the school equals one mile, so Drancik had gone five miles.

Blythe Lundberg, also a fifth-grader, was on her 11th lap at the conclusion of the run. She raised $35, including a donation from her grandparents. She said she enjoyed the event.

“It gives us a chance to be more active and to raise money for the school,” she said.

The day ended with a celebration for the students and their families. The highlight of the evening was “Stuck for a Buck,” in which students were given strips of duct tape to stick Blackberry Creek music teacher Brandon Fox and computer teacher Tammy Metz to the wall.

“I told them they’ve given new meaning to ‘Support your PTO,’” Webster said.

According to Webster, the PTO had hoped to raise $3,000 after expenses. So when the tally came in at $10,000, she was thrilled. The money will be used to buy items for the school, such as sports and playground equipment, computer programs and other technology, curriculum requests from teachers, as well as to support field trips—all things that recent budget cuts had put in jeopardy.

“This is our first time,” Webster said. “We’re really excited. There are things we can buy that we didn’t think we’d be able to.”

Blackberry Creek Principal Andy Gibbs said he was pleased with how the event turned out.

“The money raised will benefit the kids academically and support activities, and they got some exercise,” he said. “It was a hit.”