Tanglewood Elementary held its first ever Fun Run on Wednesday, Oct. 5, to generate extra funds for the school. Each student participated in a 30-minute run in which they earned money for each lap they completed.
“It’s pretty incredible what the PTA does to deal with the shortfall of funding,” said Janice Vardakis, the Tanglewood fall fundraising chair.
The PTA worked in conjunction with a company called Boosterthon, Vardakis said. The company works with elementary-age children to raise money for their schools, while also teaching them important character lessons.
To kick off the fundraiser, Boosterthon put on a pep rally on Sept. 26 to get the students excited for the Fun Run. Each day leading up to the actual event, Boosterthon representatives were in Tanglewood classrooms teaching students about values that correlated with the Fun Run, such as teamwork and encouragement.
During the day of the event, there was nothing but excitement in the school, said Vic Eugenio, the Tanglewood principal. The students were ready to run, make a difference for the school and to just have fun. Parents were also present cheering on students as they ran around the track.
“It wasn’t all about the money,” Vardakis said, “ the character lessons were very benificial to our campus.”
The idea for the Fun Run stemmed from the Texas PTA’s encouragement to stray away from sales-driven fundraisers, Vardakis said.
“They are recommending that we find alternative ways to raise money,” Vardakis said. “They are challenging us to be a little more creative.”
The fundraising goal for the event was far exceeded, Vardakis said. She estimated the students raised about $120,000 in pledges from friends and family.
The proceeds will go to teacher-training programs, technology updates, supplies, and special programs the Fort Worth school district isn’t able to pay for.
“We don’t receive a lot of extra funding so our PTA is very active in raising money for our teachers,” Vardakis said.
Although it will be up to next year’s PTA board, Vardakis hopes the Fun Run becomes an annual event.
“I would love to see it done again next year,” she said. “I would do it again in a heartbeat.”