Hornets buzz for their school

Music and laughter filled the air at Chelsea Park Elementary School April 14 as hundreds of students ran to raise money for their school.

Chelsea Park students spent the day participating in the Buzz at Chelsea Park, an outdoor fundraiser aimed at purchasing new technology equipment for the school.

Through the event, the students spent the first half of April obtaining monetary pledges from people and businesses throughout the community. The donors pledged to donate a certain amount to the school per lap the students ran during the Buzz.

And on April 14, school faculty and members of the Chelsea Park Parent-Teacher Organization closed off the school’s parking lot and New Heights United Methodist Church blasted high-energy music as each grade took turns running on a few makeshift tracks.

“Every student got a T-shirt for the event, and we will mark each kid’s every time they complete a lap,” PTO President Lori Overlaur said before the second-grade class took the track. “We’ve been giving out prizes to the students every day.

“The student that raises the most money overall will win a trip to the beach, which was provided by Seascape Resort in Destin,” she added. “The most important thing is that 100 percent of the money raised is staying here at the school.”

Overlaur said the school’s goal was to raise $30,000 during the event, and students had been looking forward to the event all year.

“The kids really look forward to this every year. Every child at the school participates, even if they raised no money at all,” Overlaur said. “It gives the kids a chance to get physical education and character education while supporting their school.”

In addition to New Heights United Methodist Church, Sportsplex, Johnny Ray’s and Jungle Smoothie also sponsored the event.