Fun Run gets Hazelwood students on their feet

November 3, 2011

By Christina Lords

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25th annual PTSA fundraiser provides money for field trips, academic supplies

More than 450 student participants at the Fun Run received complimentary Otter Pops, water bottles and T-shirts, which were sponsored by Orthodontic Excellence of Newcastle. By Christina Lords

Ten. Nine. Eight.

Camila Sandi picks up her pace, her hair flowing behind her.

Seven. Six. Five.

As an announcer counts down the final seconds, hundreds of children dressed in red Fun Run shirts surround Sandi, scrambling to get in one final lap before the 25th annual Hazelwood Elementary School PTSA Fun Run event comes to a close.

Four. Three. Two.

Some kids drenched in sweat flank her side, others huff and puff to pass her from behind. Kids with heavy feet and tired legs lag behind her.

One.

A smile brightens Sandi’s face. She’s done.

While the second-grader ran 29 laps in the Fun Run event, Sandi has even loftier goals for next year — 63 laps.

“It gives me exercise, and it’s so fun,” she said.

The event, held in conjunction with Hazelwood’s International Walk to School Day, is the largest fundraiser of the year for the PTSA and includes children from every grade.

The yearly goal of $25,000 is broken down to fund a variety of services for the school, including $10,000 for classroom supply grants for every class, $2,000 for library books, $1,000 for musical instruments, $10,000 for field trips for every class and $2,000 for math curriculum enrichment.

Students work to collect pledges from family and friends before the Fun Run and collect money based on the number of laps a child runs after it’s completed, said Missi Wilson, the Fun Run’s co-chair.

Students had from 10:30-11:15 a.m. to get in as many laps as possible.

First-grader Lucena Villasenor said she ran some of her 29 laps and walked the rest, but she looks forward to next year’s event because “you get a lot of exercise in.”

She’s going to shoot for 32 laps next year, she said.

Corporate matches from Microsoft, The Boeing Co. and other workplaces help supplement the donations, while about 30 volunteers and Hazelwood teachers and staff step up to make the Fun Run happen, she said.

“This really gets the whole community very active and very giving,” Wilson said.

Students also received raffle tickets to earn prizes, such as bicycles provided by Peterson Bicycle or helmets provided by Valley Medical Center, and the student who raises the most money wins the opportunity to be principal for the morning.

Orthodontic Excellence sponsored the Fun Run’s T-shirts, and each child received an Otter Pop and a water bottle for participating in the fundraiser.

Hazelwood’s staff and PTSA organized the fun run and the Walk to School Day event with additional support from King County Public Health and the CDC’s Healthy Eating/Active Living grant, Feet First and Safe Routes to School.

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