By Brenda L. Holmes
Students and staff at Central and VanBuren elementary schools in Plainfield are busily preparing for a new event promoting health and wellness.
The schools will hold a walk-a-thon from 9 a.m. to noon April 26 to raise funds for student activities.
Members of both schools’ Parent Teacher Organizations (PTOs) are helping to organize and execute the inaugural event. Jenny Homan is one of those volunteers.
Homan has two daughters who attend Central — second-grader Samantha and first-grader Graci.
“We’re promoting health and fitness in the community while raising money for the schools,” Homan said.
She said each child is being asked to try to raise $40 through pledges from their friends, family, and neighbors.
“Our slogan is, ‘Be Sporty Raise $40,’” she said. “There are 600 kids at each school, so that’s 1,200 raising funds. We potentially could raise $48,000.”
She said the event was born from the need to help fund programs.
“One hundred percent of the funds will be used to fund student activities like field trips, academic enrichment programs, and other school activities,” Homan said.
There will also be internal competitions for students at each school. Classrooms raising the most funds will get to enjoy some innovative prizes like riding to school on a firetruck or in a police car.
“We’re hoping the first-place winners will be able to watch the principals, Laura and Ray, race on tricycles,” Homan said. “We were looking for prizes that were fun, low cost, and active.”
The event will begin at 9 a.m. with the kindergarten classes from each school taking to the streets of Plainfield.
Plainfield Fire Department and Plainfield Police Department officials are helping to plan the walk-a-thon and will also be helping to block of streets for the event.
“Then, after the kindergarten, first grade will leave and then second grade, all the way to the fifth-graders,” Homan said.
The fifth-grade students will then finish the event at a pizza and ice cream party celebrating their impending move to Plainfield Middle School.
“The pizza and ice cream has been donated by Chicago’s Pizza and Red Line Yogurt,” Homan said. “The community has been very supportive so far.”
The party will also include the Colts in Motion, a 42-foot trailer that can be scheduled for community events.
Organizers are searching for sponsors to help offset the costs of T-shirts for the students as well as items for a gift bag for each student.
“We already have 1,200 bags donated from Hendricks Regional Health,” she said. “We also have items like pencils and tooth brushes from local dentists.”
She said they’re hoping other businesses or individuals will donate health promoting items for the children.
“We’re also accepting monetary donations so we can purchase items,” Homan said. “We’re looking for someone to donate 1,200 bottles of water and 1,200 bananas right now.”
Other sponsors of the event include Chick-fil-A, York Automotive, and Synergy Telcom.
Homan said the walk-a-thon will be held rain or shine.
“We do have a back up plan, but it just won’t be as cool,” she said. “We’ll have it in the school gyms. So we’re really hoping and praying for nice weather.”
Anyone willing to help sponsor the event by donations of funds or items may e-mail Homan at firstname.lastname@example.org.