West Side event raises over $11,000 for playground project: Largest fundraiser on record by school’s PTO

Published 8:02 pm Friday, May 12, 2017

For the children of West Side Elementary, Principal John Wright said he was more than happy to “take one for the team.”
Over 50 pies to the face later and 80 water balloons, the principal can only look back and smile at a successful Walk-a-Thon event – sponsored by the West Side Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) – held at the school Friday morning to serve as a fundraiser for the West Side Playground Project. The event, which was anticipated to raise roughly $5,000, ended up clearing $11,760 from donations. West Side reported the fundraiser was the largest organized by the PTO.
“This was an incredible day,” Wright said. “I think we predicted the event maybe to raise $5,000 and we were able to raise that much money. It was a great effort by our PTO, teachers, and students.”
Throughout the day, students participated in a Walk-a-Thon that included a Congo through the school, according to PTO President Dr. Alainya Hare.
After the walk, students had the opportunity to have some fun with their principal. According to Dr. Hare, 57 students were able to raise $100 to have a chance to pie Mr. Wright. Over 80 students raised $50 or more to participate in some water balloon fun while 136 students raised over $25 and earned a free t-shirt.
While snow cones were on the table for donations, Dr. Hare added that a parent went out of their way to make sure each student had a chance to receive an icy treat during the day.
West Side’s PTO is a 501(c)3 nonprofit school-support organization that puts on various events to help out students and the community.
The school’s Playground Project is an opportunity to develop a safe, fully inclusive, accessible playground that will allow children of all abilities to play and learn together while “valuing each others’ differences thus creating an environment where compassion, friendship, and healthy lifestyles can flourish for all children,” according to the school’s website.
Wright went on to state that the playground would be available after school hours and be open to the public.
Dr. Hare stated that the anticipated goal for the playground is around $83,000 and that the PTO is around $65,000 to $68,000 following their Walk-a-Thon event.
Individuals wanting to get involved in helping with the project can donate funds by contacting the PTO at (423) 547-8000 or visiting the West Side Elementary School PTO Facebook page online.

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