It was all about moving, having fun and raising money at the annual Gause Elementary School Sport-a-Thon on Friday, September 29, 2017 at Washougal High School Fishback Stadium.
Gause students took turns in grade level groups on the stadium field spending 30 minutes moving through a course of physical challenges set up and run by parent volunteers and staff. Students kicked soccer balls, jumped rope, ran with plastic chickens held by spoons, hopped through hoops and more. All the while they were dodging raindrops on the gray, overcast morning and jamming to the music blasting from the stadium sound system.
For years, the Gause Boosters have stepped away from the traditional cookie dough and gift wrap sales type of fund raisers. The Sport-a-Thon is their single fundraiser and helps support such programs as Artist in Residence, school assemblies, wish lists for teachers, author days, and literacy programs including book donations for the popular Muffins with Mom and Donuts with Dad events.
“One of the great things about this event is that all students can take part and feel good about it,” said Gause Principal, Renae Burson. “While not everyone donates money to the cause, we had 100% of our students participate in the activities and benefit from Sport-a-Thon.”
With nearly half the student body this year, due to the opening of Columbia River Gorge Elementary, Megan Kanzler, Gause Booster President and event organizer, was not sure how proceeds would be affected. “We started with lowering our expectation on what we could budget for this year,” she said. “We are still adding up the totals, but our students and families really came through and have raised so much more than we had thought. We plan to go back and re-evaluate what we can fund.”
The fund raising component of the event is based on students getting sponsorships from family and friends. “Some students gave a lot and others may have donated a dollar, but that is what they have to give,” said Kanzler. “We received envelops filled with change and assume it came from piggy banks. It just warms my heart to see everyone wanting to give at any amount they can.”
Caleb Reude, a Gause fifth grader, was enjoying his sixth and final Sport-a-thon. “I look forward to learning new stuff and trying new skills,” he said. His favorite activities were the soccer kick, the obstacle course and the hoop jump. “Plus I get to see my mom at the hoop jump,” he said smiling at his mother, Crystal, who was volunteering at the event. Reude’s sponsorships came from family including both grandmothers and his aunts and uncles.
“Families know donating to Sport-a-thon is investing it their kids and their education,” Kanzler said. “Because 100% of the proceeds benefits Gause students, teachers and staff.”