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El Roble students gobble up funds for PE

The El Roble Turkey Trot brought in quite the holiday cheer this year.

The daylong fundraiser amassed just over $10,500 in donations, with all the money being invested in the school’s PE department, according to EL Roble PE teacher Debbie Foster.

Throughout the day, the kids were tasked with running as many laps around the El Roble track as possible within 16 minutes. Students who ran the most laps got a prize, and those who brought in a can donation received a free lap.

“It’s been going great,” Debbie Foster, a PE teacher who started the trot, said as the kids began their run.

As sixth period began and the kids stampeded their way to the El Roble track, Ms. Foster then made them take a knee before their run, thanking kids who brought in a can.

“I want you to try your very best,” she told the kids. “Remember this does not define who you are when you are running. Just try your very best.”

And just like that, they were off.

The Turkey Trot was created as a way for the El Roble PE department to fund new equipment, something that’s not in the district budget. Last year, the department has raised money to fund a new climbing wall in the south gymnasium, and two years ago the department was able to purchase new spin bikes, Ms. Foster said.

Just like last year, 100 percent of the contributions will go toward much needed equipment, or as Mr. Foster says, “toward the kids.”

As the kids completed their laps, Ms. Foster and a couple of parent helpers placed a dot on each hand as they complete a lap. The dots are counted when the time is up and the students wind down.

Ms. Foster doesn’t know how many parents signed up to help with the trot, but knows there are many. “I just called and said ‘please come help,’” she said with a laugh.

Ms. Foster estimated that over 1,000 cans had ben donated by sixth period, with all the cans going to Foothill Family Shelter to brighten the holidays for a family in need.

Ms. Foster has goals for the children—10 laps for boys and nine laps for girls. Only one boy made that goal, she said, and one girl completed nine laps without donating a can.

Prizes would be allotted to each boy and girl from seventh and eighth grade that runs the most laps, who donates the most money and who bring in the most donations.

One student brought in a $400 donation, Ms. Foster said. Some kids donate on a per-lap basis, while others donate all at once, according to parent-helper Pam Batista.

Raffle tickets are given to students who donate or bring in a can, and the swag is just too good not to print—prizes including merchandise and gift cards from In-N-Out, Yogurtland, 21 Choices, Bert and Rocky’s Aromatique, Blaze Pizza, Target, Costco, Brunswick bowling and Laser Island. One lucky kid won a mountain bike and another kid won a drone.

As for where the money was going to go this year, Ms. Foster kept mum, but she did mention the fitness center was in need of new weights, an exercise bike and climbing apparatuses for upper body strength.

She noted that after the trot, the PE department will get together to determine what the money raised from the fundraiser will be spent on.

“We’ll go from there,” she added. 

Matthew Bramlett

news@claremont-courier.com