By David Fong
TROY — Students from Forest Elementary School have an opportunity to have fun, get some exercise and raise money for the school this weekend.
Avoiding door-to-door sales is just an added bonus.
“As our staff talked with our PTO last year, we wanted to come up with a fundraiser that allowed our kids to have fun and raise money without necessarily having them sell pizzas or gift wrap or that sort of thing,” Forest Principal Paul Hohlbein said. “We know there are a lot of organizations that already do those types of fundraisers, and we wanted to go in a different direction.”
What resulted was last year’s Forest Fitness Fun Day, which allowed students to raise money by getting sponsors for their physical activity. The event was an overwhelming success in terms of money raised and student participation and will be back this year. This year’s event for Forest Elementary School students, family and friends will be held from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at Troy Memorial Stadium.
“We wanted to do a fundraiser that was service-oriented,” Forest Parent Teacher Organization President Natalie Rohlfs said. “This is a great opportunity for our students to not only raise money, but to start the summer off by doing something that will help them be physically fit.”
Since Forest students returned from spring break, they have been gathering donations for every 30 minutes of physical activity they perform Saturday. For every $20 each student raises, he or she will receive one ticket to be put into a drawing for a new bicycle.
In an effort to make the event as enjoyable as possible for the students, a number of organizations around Troy have volunteered to make the available activities as fun as possible.
The Troy Pop Rocks jump rope team will be running a jump rope station, Troy football coach Matt Burgbacher and his players will be running a series of football drills and obstacles, the Troy High School volleyball team will have a volleyball station, Girls On The Run will have a running and warm-ups station, Salsa City Fitness will have a Zumba station and there also will be a whiffle ball, hula hoop and parachute stations.
“We wanted to try to have something for everyone and expose the kids to lots of different ways to stay fit,” Hohlbein said. “We didn’t want it to just be walking or running around the track.”
In addition to the fitness stations, there also will be face painting, a water and healthy snack station, a headband/autographs booth and a Girls On the Run bake sale.
Hohlbein said many organizations — along with Forest staff members and volunteers — have come together to make the day possible for Forest students and families.
“Our three business sponsors are U.S. Bank, Stillwater Technologies and Upper Valley Medical Center,” Hohlbein said. “They’ve all been very generous. We’ve also had many other businesses donate things like water bottles that we can use for door prizes. We’ll be giving out door prizes throughout the day.”
Rohlfs said she expects the event to be even bigger than last year and hopes to see it continue to grow every year.
“We feel like we had such momentum coming out of last year,” she said. “Everyone seems pretty excited about it. It’s a chance for kids to be active and to raise money for the school. This is a great thing.”
Contact David Fong at [email protected]; follow him on Twitter @thefong