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Schools Meet Jog-A-Thon Goals
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Students get a kick out of running with mascot Freddie the Falcon in the annual Jog-a-thon fundraiser at Fair Oaks Elementary School on Oct. 12. - photo by Courtesy Of Jo Harris

Incentives for students helped drive some special fundraising goals for the annual Jog-a-thon held at Oakdale elementary schools on Oct. 12 to raise money for the schools’ respective Parent Teacher Clubs.

The students took “Every Stride With Pride” – the theme for this year’s event. Jog-a-thon is each school’s largest fundraising PTC event of the year. The money raised pays for field trips, assemblies, special programs, classroom supplies and equipment, and also helps fills gaps that school budgets can no longer cover.

Sierra View Elementary School PTC had two tiers to their fundraising goal with one at $30,000 and another at $40,000. Sierra View PTC president Amy McCulloch said said that the students were told if they hit the first goal, then school principal David Kindred would submit to getting a pie in the face on stage in front of the student body. Additionally, if they met the next goal, then Kindred would agree to have his head shaved.

“It supports the school and what we’re doing, so I’m all for it,” Kindred said.

The students cheered and laughed when Vice Principal Kathy Pinol piled whipped cream high on top of a cherry pie and smashed it in Kindred’s face at the medal ceremony. Then when they learned they had met the $40,000 goal, they loudly chanted “shave his head, shave his head.” Pinol obliged and sheared off Kindred’s red hair and full beard.

“This will be fun. The kids have been really exited about trying to raise that much money,” Kindred said. “I’ll probably grow (the hair) all back when I’m done, but we’ll see.”

It was actually Kindred’s and his wife’s idea to shave his head if the students met the goal. Self-deprecating deeds are nothing new to Kindred. In the past, while principal at Fair Oaks, he dressed as Hannah Montana when the students met their Jog-a-thon fundraising goal and last year at Sierra View, he dressed as Mickey Mouse.

“Every year I’ve got to think of something different,” he said. “You never know what I’m going to do next year.”

Three students tied for raising the most money for Jog-a-thon – they were Jaylynn Casey, Alan Casey, and Paige Morgan and each won a bicycle and helmet as well as other incremental prizes.

At Cloverland Elementary School, Jog-a-thon co-chairs Melissa Gibson and Amanda Guthrie shared that a new surprise for their students this year is medals for one boy and one girl from each class who run the most laps. They also reported that Principal Larry Bonds joined in on motivating the students and agreed to get “slimed” if the school met its fundraising goal.

“Hey I’m up for it. As long as we’re able to reach our goals and support our schools and our students and our programs,” Bonds said. “This is an important fundraiser for our PTC and our school.”

He added that the goal was $20,000 and the students raised over $22,000.

“They turned in over $13,000 in one day, but they’ve been working all month,” Bonds said.

Fair Oaks PTC president Jo Harris reported that they, too, surpassed their $28,000 goal. This was also the first year that the Fair Oaks students ran on three different tracks according to their grade level. The Modesto Nuts mascots, Freddie the Falcon, and members of the Oakdale Fire Department were also present. Medals were given to the top three runners in each class. Classes with the most laps won a pizza party, and t student who raised the most money, Joshua Elting won a new bicycle.