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Academys jog-a-thon nets $52,535
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Third graders show determination in outrunning their classmates. - photo by GLENN KAHL/The Bulletin

A total of 724 students ran laps for an annual jog-a-thon that netted $52,535 for school programs at the Great Valley Academy – a K-8 elementary school on Button Avenue near Highway 99.

The total will increase with the addition of last minute donations, according to staff.

The students ran grade level by grade level runs for approximately 15 minutes each over three hours attempting to best a $38,000 preset target goal which they did by some $14,000.

Parker Minton a student in Mrs. Dahlstrom’s fourth grade class brought in the most pledges with a total of $2,400.  Jackson Hannon was credited for most laps run for the day.

Great Valley Academy Principal Russell Howell said the jog-a-thon is not just a catalyst to bring in monies but to build a culture among the children working together setting their minds to a goal and going after it.  It also establishes camaraderie between the older and the younger kids, he said.

Howell was the master of ceremonies for the event taking the microphone and starting the races of the various class levels at the track to the east of the school proper on a grass infield.  Children wore lap sheets on the back of their shirts with moms stationed around the course to mark them as they went by their station.

Other moms held out bottles of water for the children as they reached their half way points in the run with a few so anxious to finish they would end up rolling on the grass.

Commercial sponsors were also an engine in the event bringing in a flat $250 each for their ads being placed on the back of the students’ running shirts.

Thos sponsors included Mas’ood Cajee Dentistry, Re/Max Executive with Patricia Hansen, Valley Oak Dental, Trius Diagnostic Imaging, Cal Sheets LLC, State Farm Insurance with Jacob Naven, Life Saver CPR with Christ Peters, Creative Arts Zone, NuShake Roofing, Stone Creek Estimating, Vineyard Pharmacy, Shirt World, My Kids Dentist, Compass Real Estate with Nancy Lebon and Frank Orr.

The school classes took part in a winners’ assembly after the jog-a-thon ended where students winning the various classifications could pick a prize of their choice.  The prizes ranged from a free month at Funtastic Gymnastics to $25 Target gift cards and four free attractions at the Modesto Boomers’ fun and games center in Modesto. Prizes also included a free Round Table Pizza as well as Papa Murphy’s Pizza and even lunch with the principal.