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Draper Journal

Students’ soles support school’s success

Nov 01, 2022 07:24PM ● By Julie Slama

By Julie Slama | [email protected]

Willow Springs kindergartner Ava Robinson dances, plays soccer and pickleball, and does gymnastics—and she ran with her friends in the school’s recent jogathon.

Her favorite part wasn’t the actual running in the fundraiser, or even getting a high-five from the school mascot, Willie the Wildcat, but rather that afterward, “I get to play on the first-grade playground” instead of her usual one.

Ava’s mother, Faroe, was on hand to cheer for her and her daughter’s classmates. The family moved in the boundary the past year, so it is the first experience with the jogathon.

“I like that it helps the kids exercise and that it pulls together the community,” she said.

With a goal of $20,000 that will be used to fund field trips, teacher appreciation and classroom grants, kindness month, diversity week, classroom emergency kits, and various other activities and events, students reached out to family, friends and neighbors before they ran their laps on the back field. Their incentive is to be able to duct tape their principal, Marianne Watts, to a school wall.

In preparation of the run, Corner Canyon High School cross country came to help them warm up and cheer on the younger students.

“They are so cute with the kids,” school PTA president Lynleah Smart said. “They run with them, some ran the entire two hours with the kids, and it just gets them excited. Some helped at the starting line.”

Parents helped at the finish, with the concessions booths and at a dunk tank, where teachers and Watts volunteered to get dunked. Smart also said the school custodian, Richard Moore, helped to set up the jogathon.

Smart said that several area businesses gave the school donations, including Krispy Kreme providing 50 dozen doughnuts, Smith’s Food and Drug donating fruit and Popsicles, Sam’s Club contributed $25, and other discounted items.

Willow Springs’ jogathon began in 2006, the year the school opened. The course initially was on the grassy field, but then was changed to run a route in the neighborhood. It was since returned to the school grounds.

“We wanted the jogathon at school so everyone can be together,” Smart said. “It’s just a really fun community event.”

As of Oct. 7, the day of the jogathon, students had brought in more than $17,500—earning themselves a Popsicle, popcorn and play party. Smart said that donations are being accepted through the end of November and will be accepted through