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.


SHERBURNE COUNTY FAIR BOARD MEMBER Irene Kostreba, pictured here showing a very old poster advertising a Sherwin Linton concert, is still looking for items to display in the county fair history center. Items could be given on loan or donated to the fair board. (Photo by Jennifer Edwards).

FRESH FLAME BURGER serves up fast food with its own flair on Hwy. 10 in Big Lake. Clara Henderson, Kari Luckey and Jamall Whitelaw ordered their food to go from restaurant owner Gus Afrooz. (Photo by Jennifer Edwards).

SHERBURNE COUNTY 4-H’ers got some hands-on experience working at the 4-H foodstand at the fairgrounds Wednesday evening in preparation for the Sherburne County Fair, which starts Wednesday. About 60 kids from six different 4-H clubs learned how to grill burgers, cook fries and hot dogs and serve customers during the orientation event. Above are Big Lakers Katie Olson (left), Kirsten Olson and Taylor Muehlbauer cooking fries and Bailey Muehlbauer (right) getting hamburger buns ready. (Photo by Ken Francis.)

GRAND KNIGHT DENNIS NAGORSKI of the Knights of Columbus presented Big Lake Chief of Police Joel Scharf and Becker Chief of Police Brent Baloun with a donation of prescription drug drop-boxes for each city. Along with marijuana, prescription drugs are often abused because of easy access. Keeping them out of the water system is important to protect the environment. Now our residents have a safe way to dispose of their unwanted or out-dated medications. (Photo by Jennifer Edwards).