HUNTERSVILLE – Blythe Elementary School students ran with excitement around the Boosterthon Speedway on Oct. 17.
Upbeat music kept the excitement high as children circled the track, outlined by cones, more than 30 times. Students solicited pledges from family, friends and area businesses. Donations could be per lap or a flat donation.
They were raising money for their school, but the Boosterthon Fun Run is more than just a fundraiser. It also provides students with physical and character-building activities.
Each student ran two miles the day of the fun run.
A nine-day character development program kicked off on Oct. 8 with this year’s theme of Camp High Five. The program emphasized five character traits of being a good friend: Friends respect others, don’t bully, shout out strengths, stick together and show sportsmanship.
“The program helps reinforce principles that are important to our school and community while creating an exciting, high-energy atmosphere within our walls,” Blythe Elementary PTA member Prasanti Khurana said. “Students and school staff are eager to be a part of it. Our goal is to have this excitement resonate in all of our students and staff this year at Blythe.”
To help that excitement continue throughout the year, the Boosterthon staff leaves a fitness and character-building curriculum for the school to use all year, Boosterthon City Leader Mark Norman said.
Each student also has a customized pledging website where parents can log on with their children and watch additional character videos that reinforce what they’re learning at school.
“It’s an all-inclusive kind of program,” Norman said. “Since all of us are former teachers or are married to teachers, we took education and brought it to fundraising.”
Last year, the fun run raised $28,000, which allowed the PTA to buy iPads, iPods, iHome systems, projectors, an electronic sign for the front of the school and 36 sets of Tag Phonics books, Khurana said. This year’s proceeds will continue to support teachers and provide more technology.
Money raised through the Boosterthon Fun Run has more than doubled what the school was able to raise through traditional fundraisers, Blythe Elementary Principal Patti Johanson said.
Prior to partnering with the Boosterthon team, Blythe Elementary’s largest fundraiser brought in around $12,000. So far, this year’s event has raised more than $27,000 with more than 1,000 students participating.
“It’s great for morale and team building,” Johanson said, placing emphasis on the positivity the Boosterthon team brings. “(The students) are together as a class, and they’re having fun.”
Prior to the campaign, Johanson made a deal with students that if they raised more than $25,000, they could duct tape her to the flagpole. Surpassing that number, Johanson will fulfill her side of the bargain before Thanksgiving.
About Boosterthon: Boosterthon is a 12-year old company and helps schools in 22 states raise money with a relational emphasis rather than transactional. The Charlotte-area team has 13 members who all live locally and serve about 60 area schools.