By STEPHANIE BUNKER
Moapa Valley Progress
The Grant M. Bowler Elementary School Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) held what is traditionally its biggest fundraiser of the year on Friday October 20. The Walk-a-thon involved the whole school to benefit the work of the PTO.
Leading up to the event each student collects donations from parents, family, and friends. The PTO asks that every student collects a minimum of just $10 in donations. With 661 kids in school this can bring in a significant amount of money.
On the day of the event the students took an hour during the school day to walk laps around the field. Each class is excused to walk during their “special” period. A “special” is when the class would be attending PE, music, library, or art.
Each lap that the children finish is logged into a tablet so it can count towards their miles for the 100 Mile Club.
Parents can also participate in the Walk-a-thon and enjoy an hour of the day exercising with their children. The PE teacher Denise Hoy explained that the parent’s laps could be recorded as well to count toward the schools goal of walking 36,000 miles during the school year.
Many of the parents have several kids at Bowler and came to walk with each kid throughout the day. Alex Mulcock attended the Walk-a-thon twice that day. “My kids were excited and we want to support them as well as support the school.”
Many of the parents support the Walk-a-thon because 100% of the money goes to the school. Shelby Turner, the organizer of the Walk-a-thon, explained that the PTO gets sponsors to pay for the prizes the kids earn. For bringing in $10 the students can get a color-changing cup, kids who raise $25 get a newly designed Bowler t-shirt. They get sport socks for raising $50. And the kids who bring in $100 get a sling backpack with the Bowler logo.
Because of all the sponsors donating the prizes, all of the money brought in by the kids stays with the school.
“Why wouldn’t we want to donate?” said Bowler parent Keisha Phillipenas said. “This fundraiser is for our kids benefit and the money will go towards helping the school succeed.”
Last year the PTO raised $15,000 and they expect to get at least that much again this year. As of last Friday they only had about $6,000 but Turner explained that most of the kids brought in their money on the day of the event, and it would all be counted the following Monday.
“It’s easier to get people to participate in this fundraiser because they don’t need to buy stuff,” said Holly Wagasky another Bowler parent.
The PTO President Brandy Harter explained that the PTO gives the school money to help out with expenses of computer subscriptions, purchasing electronics, and fulfilling other areas of need that the teachers suggest.. For example, last year the PTO bought a drum line set of instruments for the music class, she said. The group also purchased an electronic device that turns a classroom white board into a smart board. One classroom in each grade level received one.
Harter also explained that the PTO also pays for the kids to attend one field trip a year, paying for buses and other expenses.