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Draper Journal

Summit Academy’s Annual Jogapooloza Brings in Funds for Playground Upgrades, Technology

Aug 01, 2016 09:03AM ● By Julie Slama

Summit Academy kindergartners and first-graders took off at the start of the school’s May 26 fun run, Jogapooloza. Also included before the event was a dinner, art gallery stroll and silent auction. It concluded with prize raffles and dunking the principal and assistant principal. — Julie Slama

By Julie Slama | [email protected]

Draper, Utah - Summit Academy kindergartner Katie Perry said she donated 100 pennies of her own money to the school’s 10th annual fun run fundraiser.

“I clean the sink at home for money and sometimes, every once in awhile, I even clean the toilets,” she said before she and her classmates started out on the course on May 26.

Even though she likes getting wet from cleaning the sink, her favorite part of Jogapooloza wasn’t earning the money, but instead, it was having an Otter Pop at the end of their 20-minute running/walking period.

Her sister, fifth-grader Taylor, said that she liked that their fundraiser included running.

“It helps you stay athletic,” said the basketball and softball athlete. “I like running with my friends and this builds school spirit.”

She, like her sister, liked the Otter Pops at the end of the run.

Parents lined the route around the elementary school, cheering students as they ran by.

Melissa Anderson was cheering along with one-year-old Layla and three-year-old Jake.

“My kids wanted to raise their own money for the school, so it was my third-grade son who said, ‘let’s sell lemonade,’ so they did,” she said. “They also sold eight bouquets of flowers that were donated fro the Rose Shop and earned $60.”

Jogapooloza parent association organizer Nikki Meehan said that any student who brings in a donation, whether it is $60 or 100 pennies, had their name put in the raffle to win prizes such as kick balls, footballs, Frisbees, snow tubes and other items.

The funds raised, which was hoped to reach $35,000, would be used to upgrade the elementary school playground, install a bench at the junior high and add to the classroom Kindle 5 and mini iPad tablet computers at the school, said Principal Bob Zetner.

“Last year we surpassed that goal and raised about $45,000 so we put a marquee sign at the school in addition to added new technology and window blinds,” he said.

Many corporate sponsors help the school reach that goal in addition to giving in-kind donations as well as gift cards and items that are included in gift baskets and silent auction items. The school hosted a $5 barbecue dinner, art gallery stroll and silent auction on May 23.

Niebaur Family Orthodontics has supported Jogapooloza for years, treatment coordinator Jeannie Damjanovich said.

“We’re in the neighborhood and several of our patients go to school here so we want to support the school,” she said. “Besides, it’s fun to see the kids having fun and see us out of the office.”

In addition, several community businesses participated on the day from Strong and Hanni Law firm helping produce the T-shirts designed by seventh-grader Adam Carr to Baird Orthodonics distributing water bottles to Amy’s Tae-Kwan-Do leading warm-ups before the run.

Last year and this year, deejay Frank Carmona volunteered his services making announcements and playing music.

His seven-year-old daughter, Catalina, was the first one to hit the target to dunk her principal in the water dunk tank after the run.

“It was very, very fun to dunk Mr. Z (a nickname for her principal),” she said. “We’ve been doing laps around the playground for weeks so I was excited to run today and to listen to my dad play music.”

Jogapooloza has grown every year, Meehan said.

“Everyone comes out and together, we have this wonderful event to benefit our school,” she said.

The event started in part to support the school in the Gold Medal School program plus it was the school’s annual fundraiser.

Administrative Assistant Kristi King remembers everyone having a part in it that first year. Even her then six-year-old daughter, Avery, helped count pennies that were donated.

Summit athletic director and physical education and health teacher Kim Arminen remembers seeing a similar event when she suggested the school host Jogapooloza, but “we put on our twist.”

 “We bring the community and school together, encourage health and fitness, and at the same time, hold a successful fundraiser,” she said. “It takes a great amount of organization, commitment from volunteers, a dedicated committee and kids wanting to participate. It ends up being a really fun event.”