Brittany Larkin and her three-year-old, Gwen, were cheering on her seven-year-old son, Laird, while he ran laps around Summit Academy on May 28 during the school’s eighth annual fun run.
“He was so cute when he woke up this morning and said, ‘today’s Jogapalooza,’” she said. “They get so excited for this event. It’s a great time for the kids to be doing something fun at the end of the year. So many parents are here cheering them on. It’s a real sense of community for the school.”
Laird ran with his neighbor Halle Page, and they both said the best part of the run was “running with friends.”
Summit’s Jogapalooza is held annually as the school’s fundraiser, which this year is earmarked for classroom improvements, playground refurbishing, playing field replanting and a marquee sign for the school, school principal Bob Zentner said.
Although an official amount had not been tallied as of press deadline, Summit Parent Organization president Mickie Rhoads said Neibaur Orthodontics pledged a 10 percent donation of what the students raised.
“It’s our only fundraiser so we rely heavily on it and hope each student brings in about $40,” she said. “It’s a great way for students to be physically welcome, and we have great community support for the event.”
The support comes through numerous donations from local businesses, such as restaurant coupons and silent auction items, along with a school community pasta dinner. The silent auction, held the night before the event, included Disneyland passes, restaurant vouchers, sporting events, fine arts performances, local amusement parks and car washes.
“Each class also made an auction basket with a theme, such as movie night, reading, arts and crafts, road trips and others,” she said.
The 8th annual Summit Academy Jogapalooza, which was held May 28, is the school’s year-end event and fundraiser. Photo courtesy of Julie Slama
Students received Summit T-shirts, designed by Sydney Drummond, that showed all the donating companies’ names on the back, along with water bottles and snacks at the end of the run. At the end of the day, a school assembly with a raffle was held.
Even so, sixth grader Max Sirrine, like most students, said he liked running the best as he turned onto his fifth lap.
His classmate, Aubree Wasden, who was running the Jogapalooza for her first time, said she liked that they were getting to do something energetic to help raise funds for the school.
Seventh grader Emily Steffen, who has run the event since first grade, said Jogapalooza is “our award for working hard to raise money from our friends, family and neighbors.”
“It’s fun for us to run with our friends and teachers; I just had fun running and walking with my friends and talking as we went around the school,” she said. “My CTE teacher (Sarah Ware) had her heart monitor on her arm and was lapping us. It’s just fun for everyone.”
Seventh grader Bella McCoy, who ran seven laps and had her parents at the finish line with spray bottles, said she has been participating in Jogapalooza for all eight years of the run.
“It’s good to have a break and get our energy out,” she said. “It’s a nice way to talk to friends while we do it and it signals the end of the year. I’m excited to be an eighth grader and get a new start to a school year and take classes I’ve wanted to.”