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Join the West Paris Pumpkin Run

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  • The West Paris PTO is excited to be organizing our second annual fundraising event, the West Paris Pumpkin Run. On Sunday, Oct. 19, the school will host this community event that will include a 5K race, mile walk and 1-mile fun run. Last year’s event was a huge success with over 200 participants. This year our goal is to top 300.

    The event has two primary goals. First and foremost, we hope to work with children and their families to get active and participate in the race. Secondly, we are asking for financial support from the community so this event continues to be a major fundraiser for the school.

    The Agnes Gray School in West Paris is a Pre K through Grade 4 elementary school that serves between 90 and 100 local children. The PTO is responsible for raising money for many school events, especially as state and federal funding has become more limited. Field trips for each grade, classroom library books and even winter clothes for children in need are just some of the ways the PTO benefits our children’s educational experience.

    The PTO has had a huge amount of support already from local businesses and individuals (over 25 local businesses have pledged their support). We would like to invite any and all members of the Oxford Hills community to participate in this run/walk event.

    Again in 2014, every child participating in the fun run will be able to take home a pumpkin as a “completion award.” Also, Wendy Newmeyer from Maine Balsam Fir, has designed one-of-a-kind “Pumpkin Run” balsam pillows for the top three male and female participants in each event.

    The Pumpkin Run has transformed the PTO at the Agnes Gray School. Prior to the Pumpkin Run, the PTO organized many different activities to raise money. They typical fundraiser asked families to sell various items to support the school.

    In this approach, only a small portion of the money raised actually went to the school. With the West Paris Pumpkin Run, this model completely changed. Last year, with the generous support from local businesses (West Paris, Bethel, Norway, South Paris), every dollar participants spent at this event went to the school.

    The Pumpkin Run acted to coordinate a health and exercise initiative along with fundraising for our school. Instead of asking children to sell things, we asked children and families to get out and run/walk together to support the school.

    For the first time in the history of the Agnes Gray School, the third and fourth graders were able to travel to the Museum of Science in Boston last year. This trip would never have been possible if it wasn’t for the success of the Pumpkin Run in 2013.

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