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Chicago Daily Herald
The weather cooperated with the 8th Annual Chester Grade School Fitness Day, which raised more than $15,000 for the school as well as enlightens the students to the benefits of healthy activities. The event was coordinated and sponsored by the Chester Grade School Parent Teacher Society and held at the Chester High School Track and Field Complex, where all activities can be easily contained and monitored. "We have tried to keep things new and innovative each year to keep the kids interested," said CGS Principal Tim Lochhead.
"The first year or so we just went to the track and walked for the most part. Over the years we added games, inflatable blowup activities, tug-of-war, Hula Hoop, a giant slide, a twister ride which is powered by human muscle, jump rope and a dunking stand and splash bucket." All activities are designed to get the kids up and moving. By keeping the activities new and interesting, the students are motivated to bring in donations so they qualify to attend the event.
Those who do not participate stay at school where they do other activities. Assistant Principal Dave Kaiser said about 90 percent of the students participated. "We have 650 students and all but around 40 actively participated and got to go to the Fitness Day event," he said. The students secured a near-record number of donations worth $15,523.74.
Lochhead said, "This year's donations are a testimony to the fact that the committee members did a good job of offering something that students enjoyed," Lochhead said. In addition to the money raised via the Fitness Day donations, the PTS and other involved staff seek Corporate Sponsorships to supplement the fundraising, according to PTS President Stephanee Ward.
"The Corporate Sponsorships usually take care of our basic costs such as some refreshments, prizes and especially the inflatable games," Ward said. "Our sponsors really contribute to the success of the program and help keep us afloat." "This year corporate sponsorships totaled $2,325 and there are still some potential sponsorships that may come in," said Ward.
Ward noted the proceeds from the fundraiser supports things that the school can no longer fund, such as playground equipment, maintenance and supplies for some machines the teachers use, transportation for year-end field trips, or stipends for teacher's classrooms. Prizes were also awarded to the top three classrooms that collected the most money. The classrooms earned lunch with Lochhead and an afternoon of fun.
The winner in the Kindergarten through 2nd Grade Division was Mrs. Marshall's class. The winner in the 3rd through 5th Grade Division was Mrs. Bohnert's class. The winner in the 6th through 8th grade Division was Mr. Browning's class.
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