Elementary school plans Walk-A-Thon for 2nd year

Published 10:36 am Thursday, September 19, 2013

The second annual Halverson Elementary School Walk-A-Thon will take place on Sept. 26. The students and staff are hard at work, earning money for the final portion of the playground equipment. Fundraising for the playground has been a three-year effort, and so far, the students have raised more than $13,000 the past two years. The parent-teacher organization at Halverson, SPIRIT, needs another $6,000 to be able to install the equipment. The entire cost of the project is around $42,000.

“We are so fortunate to have such a wonderful community of supporters, both individuals and businesses. Local businesses have been huge financial contributors to this project, and we couldn’t be more thrilled with the chance to install such a wonderful playground,” SPIRIT President Lisa Smith said.

The playground is fully accessible to all students and parents, especially those with special needs. The main focus of the new equipment was to have it be wheelchair accessible.

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“We want all bodies, regardless of their ability, to enjoy playtime together. Because laughter is universal,” Smith said.

Students at the school walk up to four miles, starting at Halverson, during the Walk-A-Thon. The route includes a stop at Frank Hall Park as well as walking the small loop at the Blazing Star Trail on Albert Lea Lake. Last year SPIRIT had more than 85 parent volunteers for the walk-a-thon, including walkers, face painters and people serving snacks at the rest stops.

“This really is a community effort, and we are all thankful to all who help,” Smith said.

Albert Lea residents are invited to cheer on the students as they walk on Sept. 26. Donations for the playground can be sent to the school at 707 E. 10th St., Albert Lea.