VES kicks off Fun Run fundraiser

Pelham High School mascot Paws the Panther waves as Valley Elementary School teachers complete laps in the gym during the school's Fun Run kickoff Sept. 2. (Reporter Photo/Neal Wagner)

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

A gymnasium packed with cheering children, energetic teachers and cheerleaders kicked off one of Valley Elementary School’s most active fundraisers Sept. 2.

Hundreds of VES students and teachers joined members of the school’s PTO and Paws the Panther as they celebrated the beginning of the VES Fun Run fundraiser.

Through the fundraiser, the students will spend a few weeks gathering donations and pledges from friends and family members before the school’s Fun Run event on Sept. 16.

During the run, the children will wear T-shirts, which will be marked by a teacher every time the student completes a lap around the Fun Run track. After the race, those who have signed up to support a student will donate the amount they pledged per lap to the school.

“Today, you will take home your packet and ask people you know to support you during your run,” VES physical education teacher Susan Jackson told the kids. “Everything they donate will go straight to our school.”

The PTO will gather the donations from the event, distribute them to teachers at the school and use the money to fund instructional needs at the school.

For every $5 in donations a child collects, they will be able to put a ticket into a drawing for prizes such as bikes and toys.

Jackson told the students the event is “not a race,” and told the kids to run only as long as they are able to.

“We all know running is great for your heart and body,” Jackson told the kids, causing them to erupt into cheers. “But if you go and run 20 laps and your friend runs 30 laps, that’s OK. All that’s important is that you do your best.”