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KID LAPS: Beach school to race for health while fundraising

April 23, 2014
By BOB PETCHER ( , Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

The race is on for healthy living.

On Monday, May 5, Beach Elementary School is putting on Beach Elementary 500, an event that promotes health through walking and acts as a fundraiser for an extra benefit. The race concept involves Beach school students and any other interested participants accumulating 500 laps around a specific course set up on the beachfront by the school.

The fun walk-a-thon in paradise begins at 8:30 a.m.

Article Photos

Help support Beach school students by participating or sponsoring in the Beach Elementary 500, scheduled for Monday, May 5.

"The focus is on health," said Beach Elementary Principal Larry Wood. "It's about getting kids outside and walking on the beach. Secondary, it is a fundraiser."

Wood relates the theme to the Indianapolis 500. But, this race is not for any individual benefit or accolade, but rather a team concept to rack up 500 laps.

And, the Beach Elementary 500 is not just for students. Anyone can drop by to walk a couple of laps and contribute to the cause.

"The idea is for everyone to walk together," said Wood. "Whoever comes out and walks a lap, we will count it. Town officials are invited as well. When the kids see adults out there, it will reinforce the idea of exercise."

Lee County School Districts officials have been asked to come to Fort Myers Beach to show their effort and support. The District is donating bottled water for the event and lunch bags with racecar decals for the students.

Who can turn down an invitation to walk on the beachfront on a nice morning in early May?

Event coordinator Linda Gassner, the school's bookkeeper/information specialist, stated school officials are seeking supporters and sponsors for the walk-a-thon. All donations will go directly to benefit children at Beach Elementary.

If interested in contributing, pick up a form at the Beach school at 2751 Oak St. One can support the "racers" by donating $5 (one cent per lap at 500 laps), $10 (two cents per lap at 500 laps) or more. One can also become a Red Flag Sponsor for $50 (a flag board will be displayed on the racetrack infield with your name or business on it) or a Pit Stop Sponsor for $100 (name to be displayed at Pit Stop area).

School officials are looking for an actual racecar to be displayed on campus in the courtyard for a day, no set day in particular. If a racecar driver would like to donate a bit of their time and come speak to the kids, that would be an added bonus. An electronic lap counter is also being sought to work as a visual for counting laps.

A school pep assembly is being planned prior to the event.

Time to stretch your legs and begin conditioning. It's all about the kids!

"This is a community school, so we want everyone to count," said Wood.

For more information, contact Gassner at the Beach school by calling 463-6356.

Beach school's perfect day

Beach Elementary School was flawless one day earlier this month at least when attendance factors in.

On April 2, the Beach school recorded a day when all students, teachers and staff were present and accounted for on school campus. Call it extreme perfect attendance.

The feat is a rare one, considering all the factors involved.

"I will bet that this has never happened at any other school in Lee County," said Beach Elementary Principal Larry Wood.

Last year, the Beach school had one day when the student body alone tabulated perfect attendance.

This year, the unusual feat has happened twice after a like day was recorded in the fall.

When a perfect attendance day happens, Beach Elementary holds a drawing and a particular class is awarded "Shelldon," the crab desk buddy, until another perfect day is recorded. Mrs. Zamniak's first grade class now holds that distinction.

Prepping for final days of school year

The final day on the Beach school calendar year is May 28. On that day, students, parents, faculty and staff enjoy the annual carnival/ field day.

Before that final bell rings, the fifth grade class will celebrate their awards ceremony on Monday, May 19, at 6:30 p.m.

Prior to that, students will be involved in the spring concert at Bay Oaks Recreational Campus on Tuesday, May 13, at 6 p.m.

This month fourth grade students will be involved in the statue unveiling at the Fort Myers Beach Library. That celebration will be in front of the library on Friday April 25, at 10:30 a.m.

The fourth graders are expected to treat event goers to "What the flag of the United States of America means to me" and will also extend the sharing of the flowers to those who have served in the military and family members who have lost a loved one.



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