Walk-A-Thon raises funds for
Polson elementary schools
faces were very prevalent among the nearly 700 Linderman and Cherry
Valley elementary school Walk-A-Thon. (B.L. Azure photo)
POLSON — Who can drown out the sounds of
Boots Are Made For Walking” or “Walk This Way” blaring from an outdoor
public address system? Hundreds of enthusiastic elementary students
from Linderman and Cherry Valley elementary schools - that’s who. They
can make Nancy Sinatra and Steve Tyler sound utterly demure, a tad
whispery in comparison.
On Friday 692 Kindergarten through fourth grade
students from Linderman and Cherry Valley elementary schools
participated in the annual Linderman Elementary School Mighty Milers
Walk-A-Thon fundraiser. Add to that number, school system staffers as
well as parents and/or guardians and the count nears 800.
wasn't all walking at the Linderman Mighty Milers Walk-A-Thon as these
children demonstrate in this game resembling musical chairs. (B.L.
The fundraising event sponsored by the
Parent Teacher Organization is the only one they do throughout the
school year, said Catherine Young, PTO spokesperson. “It takes several
months of preparation to make this happen,” she said, adding that the
work is never done. “We will be counting money for a couple of weeks
after this then we’ll look forward to next year.”
Prior to the Walk-A-Thon, students gather
monetary pledges from people based upon how many miles they walk. The
money collected is then passed on to the elementary schools to be used
for purposes they deem necessary. A portion is kept by the Polson PTO
to sponsor Walk-A-Thon activities in the schools and to prepare for the
“We work in cahoots with the administration to see
what’s on their wish list, what they need,” Young said.
Jace Pierre and his buddy Kaitlyn take a breather in the pirate ship during the Walk-A-Thon. (B.L. Azure photo)
Last school year the Walk-A-Thon raised
and the year prior to that $18,000 was raised. Last year the PTO funded
the purchase playground equipment for Cherry Valley. This year they’ll
fund a Smart Screen board, an interactive touch screen blackboard for
But the Walk-A-Thon is much more than hardware
purchases for the schools. It seeks to promote the value of active
lifestyles and the ensuing value of good health.
“We want to promote healthy living and healthy
choices among the students,” Young said. “Every kid from Linderman and
Cherry Valley participates whether they raised pledges or not.”
Once the final tally of pledges is done (May 21)
the class with the most money raised will get to have a pizza party and
the class with the most laps will get a popcorn party.
“This is so much fun. The kids look forward to
this. I do too,” Young said. “I always look forward to this.”
The water pit stop was very a very popular watering hole for the children in the Walk-A-Thon. (B.L. Azure photo)
And so do the students. “This is fun. I
last year,” said 9-year-old Linderman third grader Jace Pierre, adding
that he can hardly wait until next year rolls around so he can walk
around the walking path at Linderman one last time. “This is a good
experience. I like doing this and I’ll miss this when I’m in the fifth
The Walk-A-Thon program originated in the State of
New York with the New York Rod Runners. It began small then went
regionally then went nationally. It is a free program that assists
schools and other entities promote better health.
One of the missions of the New York Road Runners
is to, according to NYRR spokesperson Laura Paulus, promote healthy
lifestyles among youth in an effort to reduce childhood obesity and
Paulus said the Linderman Elementary School is the
only school in Montana participating in the Mighty Milers program. She
would like to see more in the state.
The elementary students in the Walk-A-Thon had to design and make class-team T-shirts. (B.L. Azure photo)
The New York Road Runners is the foremost
organization in the world; it sponsors the ING New York City Marathon.
The NYRR fulfills its youth services mission by establishing running
based programs that promote children’s physical fitness, character
development and personal achievement in under served communities.
For more information on the free Mighty Milers
program, contact Laura Paulus, NYRR Youth Program media contact, at
646-241-3527 or by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The website is: www.nyrrf.org