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Willow Springs, Draper elementaries create memories with fun run fundraisers

Nov 03, 2017 10:04AM ● Published by Julie Slama

Willow Springs kindergarten students stretch with the Corner Canyon cross-country team during their jog-a-thon fundraiser. (Heather George/Willow Springs)

Rain didn’t stop Willow Springs Elementary from hosting their anticipated annual jog-a-thon. Instead, it just moved inside.

“It was just a downpour at mid-morning so instead of running in the rain, we just got creative inside,” said Jill Wade, school jog-a-thon chair, adding that overcoming the adverse weather supported their theme, “Wildcats Stick Together.”

After trying to run the event in the rain three years ago, Wade said it was a good move to hold it inside on Sept. 15.

“Corner Canyon High School’s cross-country team was here and led the kids in stretching, warm-ups, agility exercises and then, running in place. It kept the kids active and they still were able to have fun,” she said.

In addition to the 20-minute exercise time, students could go outside quickly to throw a ball at a target so teachers, some dressed in wet suits, could take a plunge in the dunk tank.

As part of the fundraiser, all students who returned their fundraising envelope were entered into a raffle for prizes donated by area businesses. The top boy and girl who brought in the most funds were awarded a large activity prize while smaller ones were given to the other top students. The class that collected the most donations got a pizza party, Wade said.

At the jog-a-thon, students and their families could also purchase concessions. The proceeds were earmarked for field trips, Meet the Masters, Reflections, Red Ribbon Week, diversity awareness, literacy programs, emergency kits, teacher appreciation and technology.

“We raised a little over $18,000 for the students at Willows Springs. We are able to award the school $5,000 immediately for new technology. We are truly grateful for all the prizes donated by local businesses,” Wade said.

A few days later on Sept. 18, Draper Elementary held its annual Dragon Dash at Corner Canyon High’s track.

“We had such a great turnout,” said fifth-grade teacher Christina Van Dam. “We had an average of 50 to 100 students per grade level participate as well their parents and siblings run.”

Van Dam said that the teachers got the event going with a 100-yard dash.

“It’s more for fun and to get the students pumped to run. We skipped, swam, jogged, danced and just got the students excited,” she said.

Students ran by grade level and the fastest of each heat returned for the finals. Top runners received prizes donated by local businesses. The class that raised the most funds earned a pizza party while other top fundraising classes had popcorn parties.

Van Dam said the fun run format was changed two years ago from running through the neighborhood and nearby park on a school day morning to becoming an evening event.

“We wanted it to be more family centered and more of an event where everyone could come,” Van Dam said.

As part of the fundraiser, families could purchase items from food trucks, which gave a portion of the proceeds back to the school. 

Draper Elementary’s goal of $25,000 per student would help support PTA activities and events, she said. As of mid-September, more than $12,500 had been counted.

“Every student got a Draper Elementary T-shirt and when they returned their fundraising envelopes, a lei,” Van Dam said. “It’s a no-fuss fundraiser where families can support our school and everyone can have a lot of fun.”

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