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Foundation walk raises funds

It was a Friday afternoon with nearly perfect weather when Cumberland County High School students and staff embarked on their 17th annual Walk for Education on the school’s track.

(To view more pictures from the event, click here.)

A sunny day without a cloud in the sky not only served as a great day to take a stroll but also served as one to raise funds for student scholarships and grants for school programs.

The walk was sponsored by the Cumberland County Public School Foundation, which hosts events throughout the year. The proceeds from Friday’s walk will go to providing grants to school programs that teachers can apply for.

An annual 5K run planned for the spring will raise funds for student scholarships.

During the event, high- energy music poured through speakers and games included a contest to create the biggest student link chain. There were also spots drawn in chalk throughout the track. If participants stood on the chalked circle when the music stopped, they won a prize.

High school student Stantania Hurt said she enjoyed the event and said the walk “was a lot of fun.”

Faculty and staff at the high school walked with the students. Elementary and middle school students and staff trekked earlier in the day.

Melanie Greene, a paraprofessional with the division, said the event gave the chance for both students and staff to stretch their legs. 

“I think it’s great to get the kids out and walking,” Greene said. “And it’s for a cause.”

Certified Nursing Assistant Instructor Pam Fowler said a few of her students have received scholarships through the funds raised by the foundation.

“It’s a very good program,” Fowler said.

Foundation member Barbara Gamage and Division Director of Human Resources Dr. Elizabeth Jamerson said this year’s event has raised more than $2,000 so far, with Cumberland County Elementary School raising approximately $1,304, Cumberland County High School raising approximately $696, Cumberland County Middle School raising $540 so far — complimented by the community raising $200.

Gamage said an estimated 1,259 students walked during the day-long event. She said the various activities have helped generate interest and donations.

“They did several new things this year, which I think helped,” Gamage said, citing the chalked circle contest and the line dance.

The high school also raised funds from students who opted to go to the gym instead of the track, paying $2 to enter the gym.

A news release from the the foundation cited giving $26,000 in scholarships and $5,000 in teacher grants during the 2015-16 school year.

Last year, the release cited the Walk for Education raised approximately $6,500 from school and community members and organizations who sponsored a student or offered personal donations.

“All money raised (Friday goes to) teachers’ grants,” Gamage said.

The foundation is still accepting donations. Community members can visit www.ccpsfinc.org for more information.