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VALLEY ROUNDUP | Woodland Hills

Students Raise $45,000 in Annual School Fun Run

May 01, 1999|KARIMA A. HAYNES

Neither steady drizzle nor slippery pavement kept St. Mel Catholic School students from jogging around a parking lot Friday to raise funds for their school.

Some 620 kindergarten through eighth-graders braved cool temperatures in skimpy shorts and T-shirts to take part in the school's 18th annual "Run for the Gold--In God We Trust" fun run that organizers said raised $45,000.

As the students ran laps, they were cheered by 1984 U.S. decathlon champion Mark Anderson, a motivational speaker and UCLA record holder from Rowland Heights.

"I came out to support them and to tell them how good they look and how wonderful they are," Anderson said, watching as kids huffed and puffed around the rain-slick course to the driving beat of rock and disco.

Students trained for Friday's event by running a mile each week in gym class, said Cindy Swain, the parent-volunteer who organized the fund-raiser along with Terry Ibarra and Gayanne Meyers.

"The event is mainly a way to promote healthy lifestyles and well-being for the children," Swain said. "It's also way that the kids can directly help raise funds for the school."

Joggers earned money for the school's general fund by collecting flat-rate pledges for the hour they spent on the one-fifth-mile course, Swain said. The average pledge total was $50, but some students turned in pledge sheets totaling $300.

The five students with the highest total in pledges won tickets to either Disneyland, Knott's Berry Farm or Universal Studios, she said, and the class with the most donations earned ice cream sundaes and a movie.

All students were awarded a pewter-colored medal attached to red, white and blue ribbons with their names and the date inscribed on the back.

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