Liberty Fun Run Changes to Fundraiser, Boosts School Spirit
Liberty staff and faculty volunteered to become human sundaes after students surpassed their fun run fundraising goal — and got an extra dose of whipped cream, sprinkles and a cherry from students. —Julie Slama
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By Julie Slama | firstname.lastname@example.org
About five years ago, Liberty Elementary parent Niki Mabey wanted to introduce a spring fun run to complement the school’s annual fall turkey trot.
“I was thinking kids always get excited about races and so it was a way they could get more fit and have fun at the same time with friends,” she said.
This year, Principal Jill Burnside decided to turn the fun run into a fundraiser for physical education equipment, with a goal of raising $10,000.
At last count, Mabey said they surpassed the goal and had raised $15,400.
“The kids may have gotten more excited; they wore their school T-shirts from the fun run and it just becomes bigger every year,” she said.
Burnside said she wanted each student to have a T-shirt.
“The PTA [Parent-Teacher Association] bought the shirts for the students with a great discount,” Burnside said. “We wanted everyone in the school from each child to every staff member to wear it as a sense of community and to build school spirit. They can wear these shirts all year long.”
Students also could keep the race bibs that were donated by Wasatch Running for the fun run. Smith’s in Midvale donated fruit for after the race as well as money for raffle prizes.
Top student finishers received medals at the year-end assembly and could compare times from previous years, as they were posted in the hall before the fun run.
“It was fun to see how kids were running faster and saying before the race that they wanted to beat their times,” Mabey said.
Miliana Gaudia, Hailey Myers and Reina Perez wanted to be top finishers since they were the top three in the fall turkey trot. They, again, were the top three girls to finish in fourth grade.
“It was a fun run because I got to run it with my friends,” Hailey said.
Classmate Serenity Snow said that she likes to run even though she isn’t athletic.
“I was encouraging friends around me to run and helping out those who needed someone to be with them,” she said. “We’re all in this together.”
Fourth-grader Samantha Payan said that she brought in $65 to contribute to new school playground equipment.
“We get a lot more stuff for the money than if we sold cookie dough and they take half of it,” she said.
That’s one of the things Ann Welker, grandmother of third-grader Jeffrey Hill, liked about the event. She was there with Hill’s mother, Asia Cummings.
“This is something they can all do together to raise all the money, not just a portion of it,” she said. “The school has come together with a common goal and the kids are excited about doing it. It involves physical activity and creates unity. They can say, ‘Look what we can do and how we can make a difference if we do it together.’”
After racing through the neighborhood, students could run additional laps around the school field to get tickets. The tickets were for the May 24 raffle prizes.
“We needed a school fundraiser, and this is such a fun piece of the school, we decided to build upon it,” Burnside said. “It’s the most money since we raised $6,000, which was the most we’ve raised in the past 28 years. It’s wonderful the way the community is supporting us.”
The funds raised will be used to overhaul the PE equipment, including getting new indoor foam balls, goal posts, hockey sticks and hula hoops as well as improving the soccer goal posts and basketball standards on the playground, she said.
Fourth-grade teacher Toni Wilkins said teachers had students working together toward the common goal.
“We’d rally behind raising money and why we needed the funds,” she said. “It really built up our school spirit and our community support. At the same time, the kids were chomping at the bit wanting to run, so they worked up to it doing extra laps at recess.”
By surpassing their goals, the students also got to create human sundaes out of Burnside, Wilkins, secretary Karen Peterson and about 14 faculty members.
“The sixth-graders came up with the idea and I honestly didn’t think we’d hit it, so I thought I’d be safe,” Burnside said. Later she was coated with several layers of ice cream, whipped cream and sprinkles.
The top finishers in the fun run were kindergartner boys Grayson Medell, first; Trexson LaRocoo, second; and Landon Biltz, third; and girls Liza Jorgensen, first; Bailey Trujillo, second; and Emily Breinholt, third.
First-grade top runners were boys Colin Slater, first; Ian Mills, second; and Jess Maquin-Tijerino, third; and girls Amelia Schow, first; Cimmie Hunter, second; and Allie Lobach, third.
Second-graders who finished in the top three in the fun run were boys Carlos Nieto-Rosales, first; Amos Guillen, second; and Colt Demann, third; and girls Katelyn Jorgensenm, first; Charlize Nielson, second; and Ava Lopez, third.
Third-grade boy top finishers included Ryan Lobach, first; Jesse Mitchell, second; and Parker Nelson, third. The top third-grade girl finishers in the fun run were Annelise Slater, first; Isabel Mills, second; and Mia Christensen, third.
Top finishers in the fourth grade included boys Drew Carpenter, first; Caden Peterson, second; and Kayden Racine, third; with girls Miliana Gaudia, first; Hailey Meyers, second; and Reina Perez-Garcia, third.
Fifth-graders who finished in the top three places at the fun run included boys Dallin Mabey, first; Josh Boulden, second; Daxton Boss, third; and girls Meredith Nelson, first; Kaylee Allen, second; and Angie Newey, third.
The top sixth-grade finishers included Colton Hunter, first; Dahlen Brereton, second; and Jacob Carpenter, third; and girls Alexis Archuleta, first; Hailey Mulvey, second; and Rebecca Lynn Breinholt, third.