From AAPSNews Service
The annual Haisley Walkathon began with overcast skies, but the enthusiasm of students at the Ann Arbor elementary school brightened the day.
May 13 was the day for the annual event, which raises money for the school, gets students pumped up with pride and encourages healthy activity.
“We’ve really gotten them to walk more,” said Nancy Ketola, a Haisley parent who has organized the annual event for the past five years. “It’s fitness, fundraising and it’s really a good community thing.”
Students get pledges for laps walked and the event is a major fundraiser for the school. “They get so excited,” she added.
Most students walk about one eighth of a mile – about 60 laps around the school’s outdoor track out back.
“Every kid gets a chance to walk and gets to wear a number,” Ketola said. Prizes for the day are donated by major sponsors which include Absopure, Lowes, and Meijer stores and Dairy Queen (every student gets an ice cream cone), among others. Parent volunteers counted laps and helped to keep the event on track.
The day included a DJ, kids’ activities, and is the favorite of the school year, said Principal Mary Anne Jaeger. “It is an amazing community builder.”
In earlier years, the all-school event was held on a Saturday, but having it on a weekday has helped to involve all students, organizers said. On hand last week were a number of special teams of walkers, including members of the University of Michigan Womens Swim team who walked with students.