Thursday November 16, 2017
Orchard School held its first-annual Fun Run in October. This schoolwide PTO-sponsored event happened on one of the most beautiful Vermont autumn days. With each grade level donning their own colored t-shirt, students gathered to experience what was about to become one of Orchard’s best school events.
Last year the PTO began discussing the various fundraisers that were held at Orchard School. The committee wanted to ensure that the school’s fundraisers were in alignment with the revised South Burlington Public School District’s wellness policy, as well as the new Healthy Students, Healthy Schools Initiative. Understanding that health and wellness go hand-in-hand with quality education, PTO co-president Angi Murray introduced the idea of implementing an annual Fun Run as the school’s predominant fundraiser. The idea was simple. Students would solicit sponsorship funds from friends and family prior to the big day. On the day of the run, all students would walk, wheel, or run around a course designed to mimic an authentic road race.
With the help of many volunteers, the event was a success. Shortly after arrival, the students, teachers, and staff gathered outside for an all-school assembly. Then, each grade began their run at a specified time, staggered throughout the morning. With blue skies above, the students ran the course, all being cheered on by parents, family, teachers, community members, sponsors, and most importantly, each other. The sense of pride and accomplishment was evident as each student crossed the balloon-arched finish line. While some students raced through the course, others were encouraged along by peers and teachers, with some crossing the finish line hand-in-hand.
An astonishing $18,261 was raised; all of which goes directly back into the school through the PTO. Additionally, corporate sponsorships, which provided each student with a t-shirt, race bib, water bottle and race bag, totaled $5,500, which covered the costs of the run. Various other sponsors donated healthy food for the event, as well as raffle prizes for the students. Two lucky students won bicycles so that they may continue their journey to good health.
The first annual Fun Run brought the Orchard community together in a meaningful way. Efforts are already in progress for the second annual Fun Run to be held next fall.
SOURCE: Sheramy Tsai, Orchard School PTO Co-President