Waupaca Learning Center is holding its first ever walkathon on Thursday, Oct. 20, at the school.
There will be students walking from 8:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. that day, raising funds for the school’s parent/teacher group.
Spearheading this new event are members of the group’s fundraising committee.
Emily Nikolai says that in the past, a huge percentage of the profit from their fundraisers went outside the community.
When she and her family lived in Tennessee, the school her children attended held a walkathon to raise money, instead of having the students sell products.
“It was successful, fun and positive for both the kids and the community,” she said.
Last spring, the committee began making plans to have a walkathon at WLC.
On Oct. 20, every student – from those in the early childhood program to those in fifth grade – will walk for 20 minutes. Particular walking times are scheduled for the various grades.
Students took pledge sheets home on Oct. 6 and can get flat donations or pledges that are based on how many laps they walk.
They will be walking on the field in front of the school. Every student and faculty member will receive a T-shirt for the walk.
T-shirts were ordered locally, through Northstar Promotions.
With the help of the school’s physical education department, two tracks are being designed.
Each track will be one-eighth of a mile, and the two tracks will be going at once. The tracks will be “painted” on the grass, with cones also being used to mark them.
Other departments in the school are also involved.
The school’s media department directed advertisements for the school’s Channel 99 News, the art department made advertisements to hang in the school, and the music department made the playlist for the walk.
Graphic designer Marla Snyder, of Waupaca, designed the logo for the walkathon.
Other community members who want to volunteer or donate may contact Nikolai at WLC.
Corporate sponsors include ThyssenKrupp Waupaca, Culver’s, Tom Thumb Mini Golf, Weasel’s, Nelson’s Strike Zone, Clear Water Harbor and Health and Fitness Headquarters.
ThyssenKrupp made the donation of T-shirts to students and faculty possible.
The other businesses are sponsoring particular grades.
“We didn’t want to focus on prizes,” Nikolai said. “The top class from each grade will receive the prize. We’re trying to focus again on local.”
Those prizes will include ice cream tokens, mini golf passes, a pizza party, bowling passes, tickets for a cruise on the Chain O’ Lakes and one-week family memberships to a fitness center.
All pledges and donations must be turned in to the school by Nov. 1. Prize Day will be Nov. 4.
The walkathon will be the only school-wide fundraising event this year.
“We like the idea of promoting fitness and getting everyone involved. One-hundred percent of the profit stays local,” said Pam Gusmer, a member of the parent/teacher group’s fundraising committee.
She said purchases the group made during the 2010-11 school year included a popcorn machine, playground equipment, playground toys, DVD players for each classroom, Smartboards and Elmo projectors, Lice kits, DNA kits for a safety night, teacher meals on conference nights and cookies after the Christmas concerts.
The parent/teacher group also gave money for care packages to be sent overseas to those in the service and money for an author to visit the school. In addition, they helped fund field trips.