Red-faced and a little sweaty, Jamesha Gilbeaux and Anna Beth Provost, both 9, said they had several more laps to go before they were ready to call it quits.
“I’m going to do maybe 20,” Provost said.
Gilbeaux said 17 laps was her stopping point for the day.
The St. Edward School third-grade students were raising money for their school Wednesday in its annual fundraiser “Race for Education.”
Started eight years ago by then-principal Dave Cavalier, the event commissions its students to raise money through pledges per lap.
Sponsors in turn donate money for each lap a student walks, skips or jogs around the perimeter of the school, which are all done with the cheers from faculty, family and special, costumed guests.
The money raised was put toward major renovations done to the school in 1999, Cavalier said.
“We still owed a great deal of money for the renovation so I was looking for ways to raise money to put directly on the debt,” the retired principal said as he walked with students and parents during Wednesday’s event.
The Race for Education concept was a patented idea already being used by other schools, he said.
“It is something that some of the schools in the northeast, particularly Catholic schools, were doing and were pretty successful with it,” Cavalier said.
He contacted the creator of the concept and in 2004 established “Race” at St. Edward School.
“It became a successful thing. What I tried to do was make the kids realize that they were helping their school, and our parents, too. They’ve started participating, along with grandparents and great-grandparents. It’s gotten bigger and bigger every year,” he said.
“It became a successful thing. What I tried to do was make the kids realize that they were helping their school, and our parents, too. They’ve started participating, along with grandparents and great-grandparents. It’s gotten bigger and bigger every year."
By Wednesday, this year’s “Race” raised more than $41,000 for the school, development director Adrienne Davis said.
Since the debt from the renovation has been paid off, funds raised this year will go toward purchasing new academic materials, including a new reading/language/spelling series.
As the school’s new development director, Davis said this was her first year coordinating the outdoor event, which she said went off without a hitch.
Over the years the school has had to become flexible with possibility of inclement weather. Two years ago, rain forced the event to be moved indoors allowing students to complete laps in the school corridors.
“We are so thankful it didn’t rain this year,” Davis said. “It’s been amazing to see how excited the kids are to support their school.”