Walkathon To Raise Money For Playground Equipmentby Joe Holloway-News Messenger
MARSHALL NEWS MESSENGER (10/5/12)- Robert E. Lee Elementary is having its fall walkathon on the school’s campus from 8 a.m.-11 a.m. and then continuing from 1p.m.-3 p.m. today.
The school is partnering with East Texas Baptist University to host the event, which is being used to raise funds to build the school’s new playground on Nov. 17.
"It’s a fundraiser that Lee Elementary does to help them raise money for special projects on their campus that they provide for their students,” said Dr. Emily Prevost, ETBU’s Director of Leadership Development. "This year they’re specifically working to raise money to build their new playground at the end of the semester and the kids, the students at Robert E. Lee, get sponsors that agree to give donations if they walk a certain distance during the walkathon.”
Robert E. Lee Principal Kresha Lane said that she school has already had an outpour of support from the community to raise funds for the playground but that the school was still hoping to raise about $4000 with the walkathon.
"I know we’ve had candy sales and a lot of things we’ve been asking for but I’m hoping we’ll raise about $4000,” she said. "We should have a total tomorrow.”
Ms. Lane said she was happy to see the community come together to support the new playground, which will be open for use by the entire community after school hours.
"That’s what it’s really about is bringing the community together,” she said. "Some people are sending checks in and they’ll put ‘playground project’ on there.
"We’re just getting the word out and getting a lot of community support.”
This is the second time the school has partnered with ETBU on a walkathon. The first time was in the spring semester of the 2011-2012 school year.
"Our partnership with ETBU is just wonderful,” said Ms. Lane. "It was really a lot of fun last year. These kids need encouragement to walk and so ETBU comes out and they give them high fives and just encourage them.”
Dr. Prevost said the university was happy to help.
"It gives out students a great time to visit, hear from the children, find out what’s important to them, and spend some time with them,” she said. "We did this for the very first time last spring and we built some really great relationships. We got to hear some really great stories about what’s going on in our community and had a great day being healthy and doing something good for Lee Elementary with the kids.”
Dr. Prevost said she currently had about 60 ETBU students signed up to participate, but that more could show up as they were not required to sign up in advance.
"Some of our freshman leadership classes will be out there in support. Several of our athletics teams like to come particularly to the walkathon,” she said. "It’s a way they can serve and still be outside and active.”
The walkathon comes less than a week after ETBU and Robert E. Lee teamed up to put on the Fall Festival at the elementary school. Dr. Prevost said that event went extremely well.
"The Fall Festival on Saturday was a really great experience and a great opportunity to spend time with the families in our community,” she said. "We’ve really enjoyed this partnership.”
Lane was optimistic that the walkathon would be equally successful and said people interested in sponsoring students in the event could still some out and do so.
"The students have gotten pledges and donations and they’re turning those in so we’re hoping that it goes really well,” she said. "But, if someone would still like to go ahead and sponsor a kid, we’d definitely appreciate it.”
(Used by permission www.marshallnewsmessenger.com)