Archive for Thursday, April 13, 2006

Run to raise funds for playground equipment

April 13, 2006

Fitness and a new place to play were the two main reasons Vickie Kelly decided to start the Lansing Fun Run.

Kelly, a kindergarten teacher at Lansing Elementary School, promotes wellness within her classroom and saw an opportunity to combine that concept with a fundraiser for new playground equipment for the new elementary school that Lansing school district will begin building later this year.

The Lansing Fun Run is scheduled for 8 a.m. April 23 at Towne Center. The event includes a 5K and a one-mile course for running or walking.

Kelly said she started working on the run last fall. She is collaborating with the Lansing Parent-Teacher Association, and all the money earned from the run will go into the PTA's designated playground fund.

"I like the idea that kids can accept ownership in their playground," Kelly said. "If they participate, they'll see good things happen."

In planning a new run, Kelly had a lot to consider and coordinate, so she enlisted the help of Lansing High School junior Abby Hauver. Hauver, part of the Leadership class at LHS, said she had wanted to coordinate a fundraiser 5K a year ago, so jumped on board to help out with the Fun Run.

The 5K will take place on Center Street at Town Center and on West Mary Street, where runners will pass the site of the new elementary school. Participants in the one-mile course will travel from one end of Center Street to the other and back.

As the race date approaches, Kelly and Hauver still have much to do. Kelly has been soliciting sponsors, and Hauver is working on publicity.

Last month, the two visited Lansing Intermediate School to recognize the winner of their logo contest. The winner was fifth-grader Leah Albee, who drew a lion in a track suit. The logo will be used on the race T-shirts, Kelly said.

Hauver said this was the first project in which she had played a lead planning role, and it was starting to get to her.

"I'm getting a little stressed out about it, but I'm sure it will work out all right," she said.

Kelly also is staying positive. She said she's gotten a lot of support from the community.

A new piece of playground equipment costs about $10,000, and Kelly said she's not sure the run will raise that much in its inaugural year. Her goals, she said, are to have 500 participants and to raise a few thousand dollars. But she's taking it all in stride, she said, keeping in mind that this is the first year of what she hopes will become an annual event.

Community members can sign up for the fun run at Active.com, at the PTA Carnival April 22 at Lansing Elementary School or at the schools. Cost is $15 per person without a T-shirt, $20 per person with a T-shirt and $40 for a family of four with two T-shirts.

On race day, participants can park at LES, and buses will shuttle them to the event site.

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