Barbara Lawlor, Nederland. It was a whole school event. Over 250 students, teachers, administrators and community members took a hike together. They went around and around and around the Nederland Middle Senior High School track, earning money with each step.
The 2017 Walk-a-thon, which took place on Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017, during the mentorship/achievement block, at 10:40 a.m. was a fun, healthy school activity committed to help those affected by the recent hurricanes that destroyed entire cities and left hundreds of thousands of people without homes.
The students were asked to walk, or jog, or skip, or run as fast as they could, and receive donation dollars for their efforts. As crowds surged in waves of singles, couples, and bunches around the track, in the sunny, warm October day, they were happy to be outside, to have a chance to work off that stored up energy.
Organizer Kathy Fox said, “We are challenging all students and staff to think about what they would feel if they lost everything and to become part of a caring and active community.”
There was music, Tyler Perry songs that all the girls knew the words to, and most danced their way around the football field. Athletic teams formed united ranks as they breezed their way across the field they train on during every sports season.
Walking to raise money for a good cause is a good reason to let the kids out. Letting the kids out to feel a part of something more than their school, more than their community, is something they felt proud of. They were happy to finish 10 laps or more, knowing that their walking could be making a difference in someone else’s day.
When everyone was finished walking, they gathered in the middle of the field, as a show of solidarity before they returned to class.
(Originally published in the October 26, 2017 print edition of The Mountain-Ear.)