Hunter hosting 4th annual CF Walk-A-Thon on Friday

Published 4:44 pm Tuesday, May 9, 2017

On Friday students and staff at Hunter Elementary will put their best foot forward to help raise awareness and funds for a cause close to their hearts.

The month of May is National Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Month, and on Friday Hunter Elementary will host its fourth annual Cystic Fibrosis Walk-A-Thon.

In 2014, the school lost one of its students, Sixth Grader Bethany Holder, who passed away due to complications from Cystic Fibrosis. In 2015, the school suffered another loss when 14-year-old Bryanna Nelson, a former Hunter student, passed away due to Cystic Fibrosis. There are currently two other students in the Stoney Creek community who are battling Cystic Fibrosis and several others who have been directly affected by the disease.

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Cystic Fibrosis is a progressive, genetic disease that causes persistent lung infections and limits a person’s ability to breathe over time. A defective gene causes a thick, buildup of mucus in the lungs, pancreas, and other organs. In the lungs, the mucus clogs the airways and traps bacteria leading to infections, extensive lung damage, and eventually, respiratory failure. In the pancreas, the mucus prevents the release of digestive enzymes that allow the body to break down food and absorb vital nutrients.

In 2014, the school had been planning a Walk-A-Thon to raise money for another project, but following Holder’s death, the school decided to instead donate that money to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in her honor. That was the first year the school hosted the Cystic Fibrosis Walk-A-Thon, which has now become a tradition at the school.

Since 2014, Hunter Elementary has raised more than $60,000 for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Each year, 100 percent of the funds raised from the event are given to the Foundation.

This year’s event will kick off at 9 a.m. at the track behind the school. The event is expected to last until 1 p.m. Following the Walk-A-Thon, students will enjoy inflatables, face painting, food, and fun.

The special guest for this year’s event is Leigh Ellington from the Knoxville Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, who will share information regarding the latest research and advances in the treatment of CF.

Cystic Fibrosis survivor, Whittney Griffith, will also speak. Survivors, caregivers, friends, and family members of those who have been affected by this incurable disease are encouraged to attend and participate.

Hunter is also selling commemorative T-shirts for the event at the cost of $12 for adult sizes and $10 for youth sizes. The classes at the school are engaging in a little friendly competition to see which classroom can raise the most money for the event.

The school is encouraging members of the community to attend and take part in the Walk-A-Thon as Hunter Elementary works together to raise awareness about the disease and raise funds for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

If anyone would like to donate to the cause, donations may be sent to: Hunter Elementary School; Attn: CF Walk-A-Thon; 145 Hope Street; Elizabethton, TN 37643.

For more information about the event contact the school at 423-547-4074 or contact Amanda Barnett by e-mail to or Amy Grubb by e-mail to