HOOP IT UP. Hula-hoops were big fun for fourth-graders at Clearview Elementary School Wednesday afternoon as they took part in the first-annual "Walk-a-Thon" fund raiser. They also walked laps, ran obstacle courses and played Frisbee golf as part of the exercise program. (Photo by David Hannula.)

Clearview fundraiser a huge success

Contributing Writer
David Hannula


The first annual Walk-a-Thon fundraiser at Clearview Elementary School has exceeded expectations in every respect, school administrators said, with contributions exceeding $20,000 in the effort.
The event is the major fundraiser for the 2013-14 school year, according to PTS President Debbie Erickson. Rather than having students selling products or seeking donations door-to-door or from long-suffering friends and family members, the project entails the youngest student in each family bringing home a pledge envelope, which took place Friday, Oct. 5.  
Erickson and art teacher Kathy Gerdts-Senger were counting the donations received by noon on Wednesday, which totaled $20,325.37, well above the goal of $15,000 set by the school.
The school had tried a Walk-a-Thon two years ago as a spring fundraiser, and the positive feedback from that experience led to the change this year in making it the major fund-raiser for the school. The CentraCare Health Foundation provides $1,000 in start-up grant funding for a two-year period to provide for prizes and expenses in getting the project set up, Erickson said.  The program helps in promoting the agency’s healthy living program as well.
Wednesday, each class at the school spent 50 minutes outdoors, walking laps around the track and taking part in healthy exercise programs including obstacle runs, hula hoops and other fun P.E. activities.
The program features a long list of potential prizes for the fundraisers, including pizza and birthday parties, a four bicycle raffle chance, entry into a contest to win a Kindle® Fire, and chances for the highest earner and highest number of donors signed to be “Principal for a Day” later this year.
Class prizes may include extra recess, field trips, a pajama party and a chance to see teachers in wacky hair, plus a “luau breakfast”. For exceeding the $15,000 goal, students can have a storybook character/superhero day, and with the total exceeding $20,000, can now choose a “PJ/stuffed animal with snack and a movie” prize instead.  Should donations exceed $25,000, a “Rock Star Party” format will be available as well.
Another benefit to the current format is that 100 percent of all donations go directly to the school Erickson said. The funds donated will be used to cover the cost of class field trips, special programs like the “Gamelan” Indonesian music project, online math software, replacement books and other student enrichment opportunities.


THE BIG WOODEN CROSS which stood behind the monument known as La Pieta was broken in Our Lady of the lake Catholic Cemetery last weekend. (Submitted photos.)

THE BECKER-BIG LAKE SQUIRT B1 HOCKEY TEAM. Front row, (L-R): Erik Baker, Cooper Fredericks, Josh Lillemo, Jack Beckstrom, Kellen Hurt and Luke Boardson. Second row, (L-R): Dillon Lindenau, Nik Hughes, Ben Piehl, Eli Sheideman, Zack Dembinski, Jacob Polecec and Dylan Pishney. Coaches, (L-R): Eron Boardson, Head Coach Mark Fredericks and Jake Pishney. (Submitted photos).

Pictured above are food shelf volunteer Bob Segler, Big Lake Food Shelf Manager Amy Robertson, Dr. Scott Schulz, Tara Boone and Sara Peterson. (Photo by Jennifer Edwards).

THE SHERBURNE COUNTY CHAPTER OF THRIVENT FINANCIAL donated $1,200 worth of items to the Big Lake Community Food Shelf Tuesday. The donation included 50 hams and some personal care items. Pictured above from the left are Big Lake Food Shelf Manager Amy Robertson, Coborn’s Manager Mitch Utecht, Thrivent Financial Associate Curtis Snesrud, Coborn’s Assistant Manager John Howard, Thrivent Financials Associate Derek Birdsall and food shelf volunteer Bob Segler. (Photo by Jennifer Edwards).

TOMMY ECKSTROM had to think hard about what he wanted to say on the gift card for the present he had just purchased.