Never too small to make a difference

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By Jeffrey Heyden-Kaye

Ponoka Elementary School (PES) is grateful to the community for its support of the school’s fundraising efforts for the Terry Fox Run for Cancer Research.

Every year parents, retired teachers and students all come to help out on the day of the run and students themselves are very knowledgeable of the reason behind the Terry Fox Run, said phys-ed teacher Sandy Webber.

Students at PES have by now received their welcome back packets and in those they will have found their pledge forms for the Terry Fox Run. Students will be out and about in the upcoming weeks raising money and awareness for the run. The run for Ponoka Elementary School will be held Sept. 30 at 1 p.m.

“Students set goals as to what they want to accomplish that day, laps they decide on what their goal is,” Webber said.

She said some teachers at PES have had some sort of experience with cancer, either personally or with someone they know, and as whole the staff have taken the time to explain to students the reason behind the run.

“You don’t have to be an adult to make a difference in the world and they got that idea from kindergarten all the way to Grade 5. They just know that they are making a difference, and understanding that they are helping the community.”

“We have been working on characteristics of being a kind, caring and compassionate citizen.” Webber explained how the teachers help motivate students, who have responded in way that makes the school proud.

The idea to raise money started with the school’s previous phys-ed teacher, Nick Kohlman. “There were two motivations behind starting the fundraiser: to support Terry Fox, and to get students running,” Kohlman said.

He also believes everyone is affected by cancer and this is a great way of showing support. The students have really been the ones who have made this fundraiser what it has become today, Kohlman said.

Twelve years later and $242,922 has been raised by the school. Students who are now in high school can say they took part in the fundraiser initially meant to increase students’ exercise, which has now turned in to something greater and more meaningful.

Diamond Willow School and Ponoka Christian School will run on Sept. 30 as well. St. Augustine School runs Sept. 28.