In a time of uncertainty, North Marion School District staff and students came together to welcome back a familiar tradition this fall: the annual Fun Run fundraiser.
North Marion Intermediate School and North Marion Primary School usually hold the Fun Run every year, but COVID-19-related school closures meant students couldn't participate in the fall of 2020. So all of the employees — principals, teachers, and staff — and students were ready to get moving this Sept. 30. Well, almost everyone.
"I felt like lots of the students really enjoyed it, and some hadn't moved or worked out in a while," NMIS PE and health teacher Matthew Prom said. "I had many students ask if we could do it again sometime, while others begged to never do it again!"
All pre-K to grade-5 students were invited to take a turn on the track during the Fun Run. Running by grade level, students dashed around the track, earning pledges for every lap the kids could cover.
"It was so nice to see them in person again and enjoying physical activity with friends," NMPS PE Teacher Sadie Gold said.
Donations were still rolling in on the final day of giving, Oct. 8, and with some late gifts, the North Marion community gave a total of $18,000 for both schools. About 180 NMIS students collected about $7,000, while 200 NMPS students brought in more than $11,000.
When NMIS Principal Cory Gaub's students hit $1,000, he sprayed his hair an electric P!NK-the-pop-artist pink, also honoring Breast Cancer Awareness Month with his chosen shade.
"It's elementary school; we should be having fun," Gaub said as a passing student called out, "I like your style of hair!"
Once the students hit $1,200, it was Prom's turn to tint his locks, and he did not disappoint, bleaching it icy blonde to create a fiery pink in solidarity with Gaub.
NMIS will use the Fun Run funds to replace old PE equipment, including basketballs and Frisbees, while NMPS will use the funds for recess and PE equipment, although the staff is still deciding where to invest the funds. Both schools will also spend the dollars on field day activities in the spring.
Gold said field day events may vary based on COVID-19 restrictions, but they typically include bubbles, a bounce house, a water slide, popsicles, an inflatable obstacle course, face painting and crafts.
Gold and Prom said that there were quite a few people who came together to make the fundraiser for field day and PE equipment happen, including maintenance workers, Gaub and PS Principal Allison Hunt.
"We, of course, could not do it without the help of our amazing maintenance team helping us get everything set up," Gold said. "Also, Cory and Allison are an incredible support system."
Gold also noted that the teachers were instrumental in making the event happen, and Prom agreed.
"Since we couldn't have parent volunteers, the teachers tallied their students' laps and really made it possible for the students to run," Prom said.
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.