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Murray Journal

Viewmont Elementary community supports students’ fundraising goals

Apr 03, 2022 04:50PM ● By Julie Slama

By Julie Slama | [email protected]

Abby Stewart trained with her mother for Viewmont Elementary’s Leprechaun Leap run.

“I’ve run one mile with my mom, but I ran this faster because I wanted to win,” said the first-place female fourth-grade finisher who plays soccer and basketball. “At first it was easy, but at the end I felt like crying because it was so hard. I like running because if you don’t run, like in soccer, you don’t accomplish anything.”

After finishing through an archway of green balloons, Abby and other top three male and female finishers in each grade received a medal and a certificate. Kindergartners ran ¼-mile, first- through fourth-grade students completed a ½-mile course and fifth- and sixth-graders raced one mile.

Families were involved, not only cheering on runners or volunteering, but also to support the school fundraiser by purchasing “experiences” for the students and teachers. For example, an option was to participate in a dodgeball game or an extra recess or contribute for a movie for the entire grade or a Popsicle party. Donations also were given to provide their teacher a drink from Swig, said Joelle Bangerter, who serves as the Leprechaun Leap co-chair.

“We’re hoping to raise money for the school for the spelling bee, Reflections, science fair, daddy-daughter dance and all those kinds of PTA programs,” she said.

Students also could bring in donations during the two-week fundraising drive which began in early March.

The goal is to raise $10,000 and as of the run, they already had reached $7,500 and earned incentives including a cookie party and an opportunity to catch a ball thrown off the roof by their principal Jennifer King.

“It’s so amazing how this community cares and wants to get involved to support students and this school,” King said. “Even before this run, there were donations coming in and Murray Police came to make sure the kids are safe. It’s a very supportive community.”

Leprechaun Leap co-chair Kylie Fitts echoed King.

“Murray Police just said tell us what you need and what you want, and we’ll be there,” she said. “Everyone was on board and the kids love being able to be outside with their classmates. They’re more than excited.”

Fitts said the run returned to the school after a six-year absence.

The Leprechaun Leap was part of the Irish celebrations at the school. On St. Patrick’s Day, students were able to listen to the bagpipers of The Heathen Highlanders and watch some jigs and reels performed by dancers from the Scariff School of Irish Dance.