Walk raises $20,000 for local PTGs

From left to right are top Fundraisers from Lincoln: Colten Wkyert; Austin Nelton; Lucene Wykert; and Danica Gurzenda-Blindt, with Principal Chris Schelich behind. Continuing from left to right from Richardson Elementary are McKenzie Weller, Emmett Rickelman, Hadley Perry, and Olivia Weller with Principal Todd Dirth behind. Photo by Chuck Vandenberg/PCC

Kids get perfect day to walk off sponsorship donations


FORT MADISON – It’s been two years since they’ve been able to get on the track at the Fort Madison High School to generate funds for the elementary school Parent Teacher Groups.

But on Wednesday the students were able to enjoy one of the better days of the year as they celebrated the first Walk-A-Thon in two years. The event wasn’t able to be held in the same format last year.

Students from both Richardson and Lincoln Elementary schools met at the high school for the annual Walk-A-Thon to benefit each school’s PTG/PTO. Emcee Matt Rump announced that the students had raised just over $20,000.

Funds raised included sponsorships of the kids’ walk given to students, as well corporate sponsorships for the event.

From left to right Kayan Patel, Lexi Blanchard and Jayse Harmon all sprint around the Fort Madison High School track as part of the 2021 Fort Madison Elementary Walk-A-Thon. The students raise funds through sponsorship donations that are added to the business sponsorships of the event. This year’s event raised just over $20,000. Photo by Chuck Vandenberg/PCC

Walk-A-Thon Coordinator Kelly Nelton said the funds raised were down a little bit from previous years.

“But we had to cap the number of sponsorships because we actually ran out of space on the shirts,” Nelton said.

The students also take envelopes home to get sponsorships from friends, family, and neighbors.

“Then we have an online link for each school that people can donate online and that’s still open. We use those funds to provide educational programs for the schools. We provide books for the library and teacher reimbursement,” Nelton said.

The links for ongoing donations are: https://my.cheddarup.com/c/2021walkathon and https://my.cheddarup.com/c/2021-walk-a-thon-62082

Other uses include helping teachers with supplies. She said basically anything outside the school district budget, teachers can come to the PTG groups to help with funding.

“The awesome thing about this fundraiser as opposed to selling wrapping paper or frozen cookies, is that we’re not giving a portion of the proceeds away,” she said.

“If somebody donates $10 or $100 we get to keep all of that,” she said. “Each school has their own PTG or PTO and they worked together to get the business sponsors and pay for the shirts and then each school gets to keep what their t-shirt sales and donations are.

“We’re really excited to be back here and we couldn’t hold our annual event with parents at the track. It’s been two years since we’ve been here. It’s great weather and we have amazing staff and great principals that support both organizations.”

Some Fort Madison elementary students run under the Bloodhound scoreboard as part of Wednesday’s annual Walk-A-Thon. With business sponsorships included, the kids helped raise more than $20,000. Photo by Chuck Vandenberg/PCC

Eight students, four from each elementary, were awarded certificates for being the top fundraisers at their school and got to take the first lap with Rump. Then all the other students joined in and walked the track for 30 minutes.

The students could run on the inner four laps or walk on the outer four laps, or do a combination of both.

The students also all filed into the refurbished Bloodhound grandstands for a group picture.

Some of the sponsors for the 2021 Fort Madison Elementary Walk-A-Thon who helped raised close to $20,000 for the event Wednesday at Fort Madison’s Jim Youel Field.

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