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2 Broadcaster Press March 3, 2015 www.broadcasteronline.com Kids run for FUNdraiser at the Dome by Sarah Wetzel For the Plain Talk The runners crouched at the starting line on the USD Dome track Tuesday, ready to spring forward at the cue from a starter. And they were off! The crowd cheered their favorite runners. No this wasn’t a college track meet, or even a high school race. Tuesday, Vermillion elementary school children participated in the second annual Fun Run at the Dome. “Their energy for this has really been building up for a long time so hopefully they got it all out today,” said Nicolette Kuchta, a first grade teacher at Austin Elementary. The grades took turns running the track, kindergarten and firstgraders taking the first hour, then second/third, then fourth/fifth. The event was coordinated by the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) of Austin and Jolley Schools and the Parents and Teachers of St. Agnes (PTSA). The goal of the event was to encourage fitness, fundraise for school improvements, and teach teamwork. “Each student is a member of their school’s team, and as such, every child will have a team T-shirt,” the fundraiser’s website read. “By working together to raise the most funds possible, students will learn the power of working together toward a common goal.” This is slightly different from last year where individual prizes lessened the team-feeling according to Becca Jordre, the event coordinator. “The kids who didn’t raise funds didn’t get anything and we hated that,” she said. “We just made it a team effort this year. The schools are each working toward a goal so they’re all a team. Nobody’s getting singled out.” Jordre came up with the idea for the fun run while brainstorming new fundraising ideas. Jordre said the fun run was decided upon as opposed to something like a 5k because then all the children could participate. “Last year we used a company to help us do it,” Jordre said. “They sort of told us what to do and got us prizes, put us on a timeline. Everything was set up. We did it that way because we’d never done one before.” And it was so much fun, they decided to keep it going, this time organizing it on their own, working since last summer getting sponsors and setting everything up. . “It’s a lot of work,” Jordre said. “The next years will probably be less work. We really want to keep it happening every year because the kids have so much fun.” And have fun they did for the second year in a row. “The kids come in and some of them have never been to the dome before and their eyes get real big that they get to run on the track,” Jordre said. “A few college athletes come and put marks on their shirt. They get a mark when they complete a lap.” According to Jordre, a ‘lap’ consisted of a third of the lap for younger kids and half a lap for older students. Students completed 30 or more laps, running and walking for about an hour. “It’s pretty chaotic but it looks like the kids are having fun so that’s all that matters,” said volunteer USD student Danielle Anderson. “I was marking t-shirts and every time they came around they were so excited especially when they got more than the boxes,” said another USD volunteer, Raelee Oberg. Volunteers like Anderson and Oberg ran water stations and a first-aid table to make the event run more smoothly. Parents were also encouraged to come and cheer the kids on. Jennifer Mincks, mother of second-grade Nathaniel, was in attendance last year as well. “I like just getting the kids out and active, getting them running,” Mincks said. “Just having the support of the parents up here in the stands, I really like that.” Mincks said though her son is more of a videogamer and less of a runner, he really enjoyed the fun run last year. “His face was so red last year,” she said. “It was so much fun to see him.” Jordre herself had a first and third grader running in the event and said the excitement spread to those who are unable to participate. “We have preschoolers who are complaining that they don’t get to run and we have some middle-schoolers who graduated after who wish they could have done Second graders line up to begin running at the Dome Tuesday for the second annual Fun Run. it,” she said. “Kids SARAH WETZEL / FOR THE PLAIN TALK want to go to the so there are a lot of things I didn’t they’re not very active every friends that she knows.” Dome and run.” have and they really helped me day, they’re more likely to play Sorensen said their family According to Jordre, the fun run out with that.” computer or video games but they attended the Relay for life last was the PTA’s most successful all run and have a lot of fun,” said Sunday which got her daughter fundraiser last year. Funds will be St. Agnes School plans to use Jordre. “For me that was really pumped for the fun run. accepted for this year’s fun run till part of their funds raised by the fun run to contribute to a new exciting to see.” “She was excited to raise the the end of the week. playground. “We did this last year and it was money and talk to friends and “We don’t expect it to bring in “We’ll be looking for input on a blast,” Mincks said. “We liked family,” Sorensen said. “Just to as much money this year partly just watching them and cheering see all the kids out here was really because we’re not doing big prizes playground equipment as we get more of an idea of what we have them on. The funnest part was neat. They ran the whole time. and I think that was kind of a for a budget and what we get for watching their faces when you They didn’t even slow down. They draw last year,” Jordre said. “Each cheered for them. They’d just jet. just went for it.” school has a goal. The money goes grants and such,” administration told the St. Agnes students at a Then they’d slow down on the According to Jordre, the success directly back to teacher grants recent school assembly. “We want other side. Then they come back of the second year is all the more and the art program and teacher you to feel an ownership in what around and jet again.” reason to keep it going. appreciation days for the school.” you have. We want you to feel like Lisa Sorensen watched her “We have so many reasons to “We’re only a couple hundred you’re leaving a legacy behind.” kindergartener participate in the keep doing the fun run,” she said. dollars short of our $3,000 goal,” Though teachers and parents alike run for the first time. “I think eventually it will become said first-grade teacher Nicolette were excited to raise funds, the “She had a good time, she had a solid fundraiser.” Kuchta of Austin Elementary. “It fun,” Sorensen said. “She got to really helps us out. 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