The Transylvania Times -

Fundraising Has Never ­­Been So Much Fun! – Brevard NC


Fifth graders Bronson, Mason and David celebrate after completing the colorful run. (Photo by Alyse Hollingsworth)

More than a few tireless Brevard Elementary Students ran in the first annual BEE Healthy Color Run, April 15, until they were blue in the face. And green, or yellow and even purple.

But not to worry. Instead of a trip to the emergency room, students engaged in physical exercise outdoors and judging by the rainbow-streaked faces, many made good on extra rounds on the school's running track in exchange for financial pledges from family and friends to fund improvements to the school's campus.

Dressed in a T-shirt made for colorful splashes, students had nothing to worry about that a shower and some soap wouldn't take care of later.

"I asked my grandparents and aunts to sponsor me for each lap I ran," said BES first-grader Rion Coadwell. "I thought I could run 10 laps, but I ran 12."

Fourth-grade student Noah MacLauchlin said, "It was great to run laps and practice. The color kept me going. It was fun!"

About mid-morning, as grade after grade got ready for their turn on the track, a few rosy-faced girls giggled over orange slices and bananas, admiring each other's newly-streaked hair, while a group of boisterous fifth-graders exuberantly posed with flexed muscles, looking like techni-colored gladiators and superheroes.

There was plenty of fun to be had coloring outside of the box - especially when outside means time spent under the kind of airy-blue sky only Western North Carolina can deliver in early spring.

Volunteers, including parents and employees of the Cindy Platt Boys & Girls Club, as well as football players and cheerleaders from Brevard High School, doused passing runners with safe powders and sprays, at four stations around the track, making the runners look brighter with each lap. Music provided by BES parent and vice-president of BES' Organization of Parents and Teachers, Chase Stone, kept the energy of everyone enthusiastic and upbeat.

BES' OPT organization members had been looking for a new fundraiser that would involve all students at BES and could be scheduled at a convenient time of the school year. The Color Run proceeds will help pay for new mulch on the two playgrounds, outdoor seating, landscaping, paint and hopefully a new mural and/or playground renovations.

"The Fall Festival has been our largest fundraiser for the OPT for several years and we were finding it a lot of work at the beginning of a very busy school year," said OPT President Cindy Alexander. "We began to explore the options for a spring fundraiser, something later in the school year that would require less work from teachers and allow for more student participation."

BES Principal April Gaydosh told the group that she had been part of a color run at a school she had previously worked at, and OPT members decided to pursue the suggestion.

"We ran with the idea, literally," said OPT Secretary, Heather Layton-Coadwell, who along with all the members of the OPT worked long hours to make the Color Run a reality.

As part of the Color Run, all students wore a T-shirt displaying the logos of local business owners, who generously donated to the event.

"We wanted our students to have a real race T-shirt just like you would receive in any local 5K race," said Cindy Trowbridge, a BES parent and OPT volunteer, who worked tirelessly to gather enough sponsors to order more than 600 T-shirts.

In addition to T-shirt sponsors, local grocery stores, including Go Grocery, Food Lion. Ingles and Bi-Lo, donated water, balloons and healthy snacks.

"I continue to be amazed by not only our awesome families, but also the overwhelming support for our Brevard Elementary School students from our local business community," said Gaydosh. "We value these partnerships to support one another."

Judging by the brightly-colored faces and big smiles, the Color Run is here to stay, several OPT members said.

Aside from raising funds and providing a platform for community involvement, the Color Run highlights that physical exercise and healthy habits can be fun.

OPT volunteers celebrate after a successful 1st annual BES Color Run. (Photo by Alyse Hollingsworth)

"The enthusiastic support of staff and parents and the added excitement of being sprayed with color made the kids run faster and longer," said Jackie Witherspoon, the director of Resource Development and Community Outreach for the Boys & Girls Club and Smart Girls running coach, who ran and cheered as the fourth-grade students took to the track. "I think the first annual BES Color Run was a hit!"

The first annual BES Healthy Color Run was made possible with the generous support from Brevard Insurance, Platt Architecture, Water Oak Dental Group, High Country Tree Service, Maya's Mexican Grill, State Farm Insurance Agent Meredith Baldridge, High Rocks Summer Camp, Big Mike's Pizza, Crystal Mountain Gem Mine, The Hub, The Grateful Dog, Brevard Health and Racquet Club and Highline Ink Custom Imprints.


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