Scenes from Lowell: Bears & Champs on the Run Edition

This past week students at Bushnell Elementary (K-1) and Cherry Creek Elementary (CCE) schools (2-5) participated in a walk-a-thon to raise money for their schools.  We week full of events kept students, staff, and volunteers busy but in the end it all paid off with both schools exceeding their goal.

Students are asked to bring in pledges as a means of raising money with a goal of $25/student, which is then calculated for a goal for each class and the entire school.  This year Bushnell’s goal was $7,200 and Cherry Creek was looking to reach $12,300.  Although the Bushnell-CCE PTO organized and ran the event, 100% of the funds brought in by students stayed in the building where it was raised.  The funds will go to adding technology in the classroom, school field trips, field days, and more.

The actual walk took place on Friday but activities throughout the week encouraged students to stay active and eat healthy.  Friendly competitions between teachers at each building ensued as the top earning class receives a special class activity and teacher prize.

Monday kicked off the week with Grand Rapids Gymnastics visiting during lunch recess at Bushnell and second recess at CCE.  A circuit course was set up with various stations where students could perform gymnastics skills.  Kristi Hinkle came with a team, including Tammy Fitzpatrick who teaches Curiosity Corner’s TOTS gymnastics classes.  A snack of a cheese stick and apple (slices for Bushnell) were also enjoyed by anyone who wanted one or the other or both.

Fitness continued at Bushnell on Tuesday with Principal Erin Walters dancing on the roof leading the entire school as everyone moved to some good beats.   Those in kindergarten and first grade thought it was cool to see their leader on the roof, wondering how she got up there.

Wednesday at Bushnell student athletes from Lowell High School played with kids during lunch recess.  Sadly, we didn’t capture any photos.  A snack of carrot sticks and a cheese stick were passed out in the afternoon.

Meanwhile, at CCE it was Principal Shelli Otten to dance on the roof.  But due to the steamy temperature her moves were relocated to the cafeteria.  Students her enjoyed a snack consisting of a cheese stick and pear.

Students at Cherry Creek had their special assembly on Thursday.  Jumping with Jill got everyone moving.e

Numerous businesses donated items to be used as raffle prizes or financially sponsored the event.  Without the support of these businesses and PTO volunteers the week-long event would not have been possible.

Behind the scenes the PTO continued to work.  Throughout the week money was counted each morning Monday through Thursday, tickets with student names were made to be used for raffle tickets, snacks were passed out, fitness days were coordinated, and swag bags for each student were put together.

Friday the big day arrived.  And the heat of the week remained.  Typically a course is set up in the field between Bushnell and Lowell Middle School.  But due to the dry weather stakes used to set up the course would not go into the ground.  The heat also kept Cherry Creek students from walking to the field.  They walked in a field behind their school.  The changes didn’t dampen the spirits or the fun.

Bright and early a special guest arrived on the field.  He needed a little help getting ready to welcome students.

At 9am students began walking or running the perimeter of the field.  Each class made a sign to represent them and their teacher.  They also stopped and had a group photo taken by Kathryn Atwood of Rosebud Photography before their start.  The Riverwalk Duck and BW3 mascot greeted students as they left their classrooms.

Following the walk students had an assembly where the top winners in each grade and the top class were announced.  Raffle prizes were also handed out at this time.  Over 50 prizes including overnight stays in hotels, bikes, scooters, Kindles, gift cards to Meijer, Target, Main Street BBQ, The Gilmore Collection, passes to Catch Air, R Athletics, Lowell Summer Sports Camp certificates, birthday party at Grand Rapids Gymnastics, trip to a money booth from Huntington Bank, and more were awarded.

Bushnell students met and exceeded their fundraising goal.  This meant Mrs. Walters would be turned into a human sundae.  Top winners from kindergarten Madison Wiley, Maddison Sloan, and Grace McLeod along with top winners from first grade Kyle Rapson, Sophia Wiley, and Bentley Smith had the honor of pouring chocolate and spraying whipped cream on their principal.  This group of six students will join the top winners from Cherry Creek for a special outing to have lunch and spend time at AirTime!  Mrs. DeVito’s  first grade class took top honor of raising the most money in the school.  Mrs. DeVito received a gift bag full of goodies for leading her team to victory.

Following awards and sundae making, first grade students watched Bubble Man Ron do amazing things with bubbles.  Kindergarten students had their turn in a separate gathering which allowed students to watch one grade at a time.  Bubbles filled with helium floated upward.  Bubbles looking like foam created a bear (being the Bushnell Bears this was a big hit), and fog machine “fog” filled bubbles during some amazing effects.

CCE students walked in the afternoon.  They battled the hot temperatures as the happy t-rex made his way to their school to cheer them on.  Water bottles on ice in kiddie pools helped keep everyone a bit cooler.  The BW3 mascot also cheered on CCE students.

Like Bushnell students, CCE had an assembly to announce top winners, top class, and receive raffle prizes.  Overnight hotel stays, gift cards, ripsticks, a Kindle, and more were handed out.  And because the Cherry Creek Champs exceeded their goal they too turned their principal into a human sundae.  Joining Mrs. Otten, Behavior Specialist Bobby Rickstad were covered with chocolate sauce, whipped cream, and balloon sprinkles by top winning students.  Second grade students Nathaniel Wiedyk, Lindsey Cramer, and Kamryn Lackscheide, third grade students Allison Videan, Vada Schenk, and Wyatt Yantz, fourth grade students Madelyn Miller, Kyle Stauffer, Eli Wilcox, Connor Rapson, and Chloe Vangorp (there was a three-way tie for third!) and those representing fifth grade Parker Salgat, Hayden Videan, and Marissa Miller enjoyed creating two human sundaes.  Mrs. Hoard’s fourth grade class collected the most money at their school.

Thanks to students, teachers, PTO volunteers, and businesses students at Bushnell and Cherry Creek were able to shatter their goals.  A total just over $11,000 was raised and will stay at Bushnell.  Just under $16,000 was collected by Cherry Creek students.  Great work by all involved with allow special events to happen throughout the rest of the school year.  The 6th Bears/Champs on the Run was definitely a success!

Thanks to PTO volunteers for providing some of the photos used in this article.

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