WILTON, Conn. – Chilly weather was no match for the spirit and enthusiasm of the 1,110 students and staff at Wilton’s Cider Mill School who, together, walked 1-mile around the high school track Wednesday morning and raised $39,000 in the school’s fourth annual Walkathon.
Organized by the Cider Mill PTA, the walkathon benefits a number of school programs, like Fun Nights and Field Day, both of which provide students the opportunity to hang out and socialize outside of the classroom. The money will also be used for the PTA Gifts and Grants program in which teachers apply for funding to support in-class projects.
“This is a fun activity that really brings the whole school community, kids and administration, together,” PTA President Lisa Smith said.
In the weeks leading up to the walk itself, students gathered pledges from friends and family. PTA Fundraising Chair Nicola Davies, who ran the event, said about 90 percent of students participated in the fundraising effort, turning in pledge forms by Oct. 4.
Thanks to the hard work of the students, staff and parents, the fundraising goal of $37,000 was surpassed.
“It is wonderful how everyone—students, staff and parents—takes the Walkathon to heart and gives it their all,” said Davies. “Its success is due to a true community of effort. I hope the children take away happy memories and realize the power that they have to do good and have fun at the same time.”
Not only is the Walkathon a fun and beneficial activity that brings the entire Cider Mill community together, it serves as a learning experience for the students, PTA Publicity Chair Andrea Bates said.
“They see the link between the money they've raised and the events they get to go to from the PTA,” she said. “For instance, they all love the Cider Mill Fun Nights and they understand the money from the Walkathon makes those possible.”