Houston & Peach

Photos: Quail Run students help raise money with Fun Run

Students at Quail Run Elementary School in Warner Robins this week seized on a way to combine fun, running and fundraising to everybody's satisfaction.

Cheryl Thomas, Quail Run principal, said that in the past the school has conducted the usual fundraisers, such as gift sales, selling items like cookie dough and having a fall festival and spring fling.

This year they wanted to do something new and different. Hence the Boosterthon Fun Run, which gives students the chance to solicit money from friends and family but simplifies the process since there are no items to deliver, and pledges can come from anywhere in the country.

To earn their money, students run laps over a 1/6-mile course after collecting pledges for dollar amounts for each lap they run. They hope to average around 30 laps per runner, with a limit of 35 laps.

Parents are also invited to participate in the event.

Each class runs as a group, and teachers mark the back of a student's shirt after completion of each lap.

To ward off the boredom of a long-distance runner, the FunRun staff provides constant chatter and energizing music. Also, at different points students are instructed to skip as they run, high five the crowd and even limbo under batons held over the track.

Organizers said Quail Run is the first school south of Atlanta to participate in the event. Eagle Springs Elementary in Centerville will stage its Fun Run on Thursday.

Fun Run staffers begin visiting the school a week before the event, incorporating character education and fitness into the fundraising effort. As they visit classes, they do short presentations tied to the course of study while teaching character building and encouraging fitness.

"This has gone over wonderfully," Thomas said. "A ton of parents came out in support. The funds raised will be used to purchase more Smart Boards for our classrooms."