By Emily Gallagher
Times West Virginian
WHITE HALL —
Students and teachers at White Hall Elementary took a break from studying and raised money instead.
During the school walk-a-thon Tuesday, students walked, hopped and jumped several laps in the school’s gym to raise money for the school as well as the Make a Wish Foundation and American Cancer Society.
“We give $200 to Make a Wish and $200 to American Cancer Society,” Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) vice president Whitney Slagle said. “Then the rest is for general things here at the school.”
Slagle said it also gives students a chance to get out of the classroom and exercise. The event was run by the White Hall Elementary School PTO.
“When it’s nice outside they’ll usually walk together,” she said. “But today we did it in the gym, and we had to break them up into classes.”
Students walked a total of 10 laps for the walk-a-thon, with each lap having a different theme from walking like a chicken to flying like an airplane. Principal Karen Rhodes said several volunteers came to help during the walk-a-thon.
After students got done with their 10 laps, they were given free frozen treats.
“They then would go back to their classrooms and have their frozen treats,” Rhodes said.
Rhodes said they chose to give money to Make a Wish and American Cancer Society because both organizations touch home at White Hall Elementary School.
“We have a cook here that’s going through treatments with breast cancer, so that’s why we wanted to donate to the American Cancer Society,” she said. “The faculty and staff wore pink for her today, and we took donations up ourselves.”
As for the Make a Wish Foundation. Rhodes said there were two students who passed away that were involved with Make a Wish. Those two students were Christopher Riley, who passed away in 1989 at 7 years old, and Cassandra “Cassie” Marie Gouzd, who passed away in 1994 at 9 years old.
“Their plaques are in the hallway,” Rhodes said. “But that’s why they chose to donate to those two organizations.”
Rhodes said the school puts on the walk-a-thon every year and usually donates to the two organizations.
“I think one year they gave money to the United Way, but it’s usually those two,” she said. “It always goes to charity.”
Rhodes said getting kids involved with raising money for charity is important. Another way the kids are exposed to charitable events is through Character Ed each month.
“Last month was responsibility,” Rhodes said. “This month is respect. In order to show respect for people we do this walk-a-thon; we give to charity because it teaches the students to have respect for each other and other people.”
Rhodes said the school has done other service projects including a food drive.
Multimedia journalist Kaylyn Christopher contributed to this report.
Email Emily Gallagher at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @EGallagherTWV.