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No more selling cookie dough; Smithfield’s Summit students run to raise money

By Katie Krusi

SMITHFIELD–Summit Elementary’s first ever ‘Race for the Summit’ run-a-thon turned out to be a successful fundraiser, raising $10,000 for the school.

Becky Neilson, head of fundraising for the PTA, came up with the idea. Neilson said she decided to try it after her niece in Alabama told her of her success with it.

“I was really frustrated with the cookie dough [fundraiser] and wanted to think of a way for the school to keep all of the money donated,” Neilson said.

Neilson said she was hoping to raise more than they did, but thought it was a good amount for a first year project. Next year, the elementary schools in Smithfield plan on doing this again and raising even more money.

Students gathered pledges for money before the fundraiser and ran a goal of 30 laps the day of the run-a-thon. Neilson set up three tracks for the students to run on, two were a third the size of regulations tracks and around them on the sidewalk was a track for disabled students to participate.

Neilson said there were raffles for the kids to enter depending on how much money they had raised. Prizes were donated by local businesses.

“So many companies helped fund the event,” Neilson said. “The day of the event turned out to be far more successful than I had suspected.”

Neilson said tons of people came out to support the kids. Families, parents, and grandparents were their cheering their kids on. “The kids had a blast. We had the USU track team and Big Blue there cheering them on and keeping them pumped up,” Neilson said.

“I think the thing that surprised me the most was that everyone that said they would do something did it 100 percent,” Neilson said.

Dhe said the money raised will go to fund the PTA and all of their programs, such as Accelerated Reader and Red Ribbon week. It will also go to pay for some computer upgrades and technology updates.

“It was awesome. It turned out really well,” she said.