Oak Mountain fundraiser gets support from unexpected places

Published 2:54 pm Thursday, October 16, 2008

During Oak Mountain Elementary’s fall fundraiser, the school got monetary support from some surprising places, such as Alaska, Texas, China, Germany, Australia and Iraq — just to name a few.

On Oct. 2, the school hosted a Boosterthon Fun Run, where students got monetary pledges for every lap they ran. The school’s 830-plus students reached out — way out — and ended up with pledges from 47 states and 15 countries.

“It was amazing. We thought we’d get two or three countries and we really hadn’t speculated on how many states,” said Principal Jeanette Darby. “We are a very transient country in that we do have relatives everywhere.”

All those pledges added up to a lot of money. The Fun Run raised more than $40,000, which doubled the school’s expectations. Students also had fun in the process.

“It was truly a fun run. They were running, skipping and galloping,” Darby said. “It was very motivational, and just a great time.”

In the week and a half leading up to the Fun Run, Boosterthon representatives went into each classroom and did a character building presentation with the fundraiser’s theme, “DREAM Big,” which stood for diligence, responsibility, enthusiasm, attitude and making a difference.

Individual classrooms also benefited from the Fun Run. Ten percent of the funds raised and collected by Oct. 9 went back to every homeroom teacher for school supplies.

There was also a competition to see which classroom could get the most states and countries to pledge, with each classroom keeping track of their pledges on a map. A second-grade class came in first, winning a pizza party.

This is the first year Oak Mountain has done the Boosterthon fundraiser. Although the PTO chooses the yearly fundraisers, Darby said she’d be surprised if the Fun Run doesn’t become an annual event.

“We really have not had a fundraiser that brought in this kind of money before,” she said. “It was a fundraiser that focused on character education and on geography. We heard very positive comments.”