SMITHFIELD — The air at Sky View High School buzzes with music and laughter as students from three elementary schools — Summit, Sunrise and Birch Creek — walk and run together to raise money for their schools. The Delbert Loyal Hansen Track and Field is crowded with young students and their parents, each wearing shirts in their school colors. This fun and beneficial annual event is known as the Tri-School Trot.
“It ends up being a little competition,” joked Candace Mullen, a Sunrise Elementary School PTA member. “It’s a lot of fun.” Sunrise plans on raising $11,000 at the Tri-School Trot, she said, which is right on track with their normal goal of $12,000.
“This is a fundraiser for each elementary school’s PTA,” said Natalie Robins, also a member of Sunrise PTA. “The kids have pledge to run so many laps for so much money. We have also gotten sponsors from the businesses in the area.”
Birch Creek PTA member Jennifer Daniels said, “This year we are paying for new computers for the teachers and more aides to be in the classrooms with the students. We plan on making about $8,000 this year.”
Mullen said businesses had to pay $200 to be featured on the t-shirts that kids and parents got for participating. The back of the shirt was crammed with names of businesses that wanted to show their support.
And there is definitely a lot of excitement for supporting the Smithfield elementary schools. The track and field glowed neon with the parents and students wearing their bright t-shirts, and neon posters lined the fence around the track with names of local businesses that donated.
“I ran ten laps,” said Colin Womack, a student from Birch Creek Elementary School. “I did it for fun and my friends ran with me.” His younger sister, Mercedes, also ran 10 laps earlier that day to show support for her school.
Just like the Womacks, many students jogged around the track with their friends with huge grins on their faces. Not only is this event raising money, it also creates friendships between the Smithfield elementary schools.
“This is my first year at the Tri-School Trot,” said Kaiann Womack, mother of two students at Birch Creek Elementary. “As far as I understand it, the kids just set a goal in their head to how many laps they wanted to run and then ask people to donate. They have a really good thing going. It’s a high budget that they need to raise. It’s really been a success.”