The Odessa Record -

Walk-a-thon provides fun and funds for local pool


Children of Odessa gather in front of the grandstand for the 12th annual Friends of the Pool walk-a-thon Sunday, April 30.

The 12th annual Friends of the Pool Walk-a-Thon was held April 30 and raised over $1,280 as of Tuesday. According to Suzie Deife, the organization's secretary, a total of 47 walkers collected pledges. Most of them were school-aged children, but participants also included others who ranged in age from one year old to adults who took advantage of the fresh air and exercise.

The pledge walkers walked or ran a total of 980 laps around the track at Finney Field for a total of 245 miles, an average of over five miles per person. Total laps walked or run by all participants was up from down just a bit from last year by 36 laps. Jacob Scrupps and Zach Claassen ran for most of their laps and tied with 38 laps or 9.5 miles each.

All children who signed up to take part in the walk-a-thon received a T-shirt and a prize at the start. While the laps were being completed, $500 worth of prizes was awarded randomly. Snow cones and water were provided by Odessa Foods to cool the kids down and give them a break if needed. Each child also received a "toe token" necklace with a foot symbolizing each lap completed.

The names and/or logos of businesses and community members who donated cash or prizes for the walk-a-thon were printed on the back of the T-shirts awarded to each child (31 names and logos in all). The shirt theme was "walk on the wild side," and most of the prizes were animal themed.

The grand prize this year was a trampoline. The Friends of the Pool will announce the grand prize winner next week once all the pledge packets have been collected.

At each grade level, children were recognized for completing the most laps during the walk-a-thon: Layla Summers, pre-K; Colt Lewis, Kindergarten; DJ Chavers, first grade; Leah Iverson, second grade; Aiden Schmierer, third grade; Holden Iverson, fourth grade; Jacob Scrupps and Zach Claassen (tied), fifth grade and Zane Rosman, sixth grade. Each of them won a $10 gift card to the Odessa Drive-In.

"We ensured this year that each child walked away with a prize the day of the walk-a-thon," said Suzie Deife, president. The planning committee for the event consisted of Lindsy Starkel, Danielle Hardung, Carmen Weishaar, Cory Carstensen, Rebecca Maddock, Deanna Lobe, April Steward, Suzie Deife and Kamie Iverson, along with new members Blayne Albertson, Kimberly Ryan, Kelsey Scrupps and Britney Wagner.

The funds raised by the children through the walk-a-thon will go towards lifeguard wages this year to keep the pool open the same hours as last year. A $10,000 donation to the Town of Odessa for wages will be presented at the start of the swim season.


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