Robert Perea, The Fernley Reporter
East Valley Elementary School hosted a kick off pep rally Tuesday afternoon to begin a fun run fundraiser to improve the school’s track.
The kick off rally introduced the students to the program, under which they will be soliciting pledges for each lap they run.
The Fun Run will be held April 20, giving the students two weeks to raise money for the event. Races are at 8:45 a.m., 10 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. and will be outside on the playground.
On its Facebook page, the East Valley Elementary PTA announced Thursday morning that students have already accumulated $240 per lap, so if the students average 30 laps, that would be more than $7,000.
The PTA’s goal is to raise $700 per lap.
The fundraiser is sponsored by the PTA, which plans to use the money to improve the running track at the school, with 10 percent of the proceeds also going to classrooms. Teachers will decide how the money their classroom receives will be spent.
PTA President Erika Frisk said the idea for the event came from a summer PTA leadership training event in Reno, where representatives of Apex Fun Run made a presentation. PTA members then made a presentation to the school administration.
Robyn Ball, Apex Fun Run Area Director, said Apex Fun Run is a for-profit company that collaborates with school PTO/As and faculty, and produces a meaningful and “hassle-free” school fun run fundraiser that is financially successful and builds leadership and fitness values in the students who participate.
Over two weeks, the local Apex franchisee teams engage with teachers and students, teaching teamwork, leadership and fitness lessons to students.
The event starts with a pep rally, teacher competitions and awareness building, and culminates with the Fun Run on the last day of Apex’s time at each school. Students run laps on a special course set up by Apex and friends, parents and family donate per lap. The students receive jerseys that denote the number of laps they completed and those laps translate into dollars that go back to the school.
As a for profit company, Apex keeps a portion of the proceeds, but Ball said Apex Fun run typically doubles what other school fundraisers make, and the bonus is that the kids are getting leadership lessons along with a fun run at the end.
Frisk said the PTA is excited to bring the fun run to EVES.
“They try to teach leadership at a young age and to make healthy choices,” Frisk said. “We are the first school in our area to be able to do this event and it will be a very exciting fundraiser for our school. Not only are we raising money for PTA, but we are also raising money for the school to be able to improve the running track and 10 percent of the money goes back to the classrooms.”
Ball said she and her husband Mike own the Northern Nevada Apex Fun Run franchise.
“We wanted to help give back to the community and thought that this would be a great program to bring to the Reno and outlining areas,” she said.
Apex Fun Run staff will work with the students throughout the two weeks of the event leading up to the race, with a new lesson and interactive activities each day. Each classroom becomes a team, with the teacher as a coach, and classes can win prizes based on how many pledges they receive.
Photos by Joseph Maino, The Fernley Reporter