Fort Mill Times

Gold Hill students get a leg up on fundraising

Jacob Heath (left) and Wade Havnaer of Tega Cay go for 35 laps at a fundraiser for Gold Hill Elementary School last week.
Jacob Heath (left) and Wade Havnaer of Tega Cay go for 35 laps at a fundraiser for Gold Hill Elementary School last week.

Students at Gold Hill Elementary School walked, ran and danced Thursday morning in a new and inventive way to raise money for their school.

The school partnered with the Georgia-based company Boosterthon Fun Run to put on the fundraiser. The company, which now partners with more than 200 schools, helped the teachers and students organize pledges for laps they would run at the fundraiser.

"We had a huge turnout [with] parents cheering, dancing with the kids. They even got to run a victory lap with the students," said Matthew Haneline, the Charlotte area director for Boosterthon.

Throughout the morning, the classes took turns running laps for 30 minutes. Each minute had a different piece of music for the kids to play along with. Some of the music included underwater swimming or race car sounds, Haneline said.

"It's a way for the kids to understand that fitness can be a lot of fun while raising money for the school," Haneline said.

Gold Hill Elementary Assistant Principal Chris Gardner took part in the run and said the event capped a phenomenal week and a half of preparation.

"The kids and the parents really bought into this- being based on fitness and character building," Gardner said. "And it does have great earning potential."

Gardner said it would be at least another week or so before the school knows exactly how much money was raised.

Haneline said Boosterthon estimated the total to be more than $30,000. Last year, the school raised $13,000 through catalog sales.

"Regardless of financial participation, every student takes part in the event," Haneline said.

This is the second school in the area that Boosterthon has helped with a fundraiser. A Boosterthon Fun Run was held at Springfield Elementary and another one is planned for Orchard Park in March.

"Our Parent-Teacher Association found them," Gardner said. "They saw that they had a lot of success earlier in the year. It's been great. The Fun Run guys have been incredible role models for our kids and the kids understand how they are helping our school."

According to PTA parent and new Fort Mill School Board member Scott Patterson, "They gave a presentation to the PTA last year and we were sold. It turned out to be a phenomenal day with the kids."

Gardner said the school would be open to holding another Fun Run next year.

"The feedback has been great. The PTA has been very pleased," he said. "It's not all about earning potential, but it was easy and an awesome day for the kids."