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Running for fun, and funds

Color run at BMS raises $4,000 for PTSA

Berg Middle School got a little more colorful Wednesday afternoon. As a thank you to students who participated in the Parent, Teacher Student Association at the Newton middle school’s annual fundraiser parents and staff members organized a color run. As students jogged around the perimeter of the track at Berg, PTSA members and teachers tossed colored powder at them.

To participate in the event students needed to each raise $5 to purchase a white T-shirt, but many raised $10 or more. Lillie Ray, a seventh-grader at Berg said she and her friends each raised $10 to participate in the event. Altogether, students raised more than $4,000 during the event.

“I ran last year, and I really enjoyed it,” Ray said. “It’s a good way to spend time with your friends, raise some money and get some exercise.”

Since the first color run was hosted in 2011 in Phoenix, Ariz., the events have been growing in popularity worldwide. This year’s event was the second annual event at the middle school, and Robyn Friedman, a member of the PTSA said the goal was to find a way to raise money for the organization without turning students into door to door salesmen. Friedman said in the past when students have sold items for fundraisers they typically only received 60 percent of the sales. With an event like the color run, 90 percent of the money raised stays in the organization.

“We came up with the idea because color runs are really popular right now, and we found a way to do it for a less expensive cost,” Friedman said.

As a runner, Friedman, who also coaches the girls cross country team at Berg, is always looking for ways to incorporate fitness into the fundraising activities that students participate in. After finding a source for the colored powder online Friedman recruited a few volunteers and staged the first event last year.

“I knew if I put the organization into it that I could get some helpers, and we’ve been very well supported by teachers,” Friedman said.

Patty Van Haaften, a special education teacher at Berg, was one of the teachers who volunteered to toss the colored powder at students as they ran by. Van Haaften said she’s glad to see students participate in the event, and she was eager to help.

“I love to support our PTSA and watch the kids have fun,” Van Haaften said. “We really appreciate our volunteers that come here and have fun.”

Students were eager for their chance to support their school as well. Marin Pettigrew, a seventh-grader at Berg, said that not only was it fun to run through the clouds of colored powder tossed by teachers and volunteers, it’s gratifying to know that they were making a difference at their school.

“Just $10 can make a lot for our school, every little bit makes a difference,” Pettigrew said.

Contact David Dolmage at 641-792-3121 ext. 6532 or 

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