The clouds opened up and the sun came out just in time for the ninth annual St John Neumann Catholic School Walk-A-Thon.

Teachers and students from both the Palmerton and Slatington campuses gathered on Friday in the Palmerton gymnasium for a day of exercise, fun, and learning.

Each year the students in grades kindergarten through eighth work together to raise funds for the school through personal sponsors and donations from local business.

The day started with a morning Mass at Sacred Heart Church, before the students headed off for a walk throughout the streets of Palmerton. The walkers returned back to the gym for a Pizza party.

In the afternoon the students, teachers, and parents took part in a live demonstration by local beekeeper Cliff Sunflower. Sunflower brings the scientific magic of the life of a honeybee through his presentation called Dancing with the Bees.

"The theme of our Walk-A-Thon this year is Natural Wonders," said Bill Hinchey, event coordinator. "We do this event to let the students have some out of classroom experience and it also gives our schools exposure to our community."

Hinchey said the students do their best each year to meet the desired goal.

"The students work hard in getting sponsors," he said. "This is a major fundraiser for our school, and we hope to raise $12,000 to $15,000 this year."

All the monies raised in the Walk-A-Thon will support the students with the purchases of books, computers, classroom supplies and class field trips.

The school awards a prize to the student who raises the most money. This year, the prize is a two-day pass for four people to Hershey Park.

"Each of the students take this very seriously," Hinchey said. "They will each hand write all their thank-you to their sponsors."

About 80 students attend the regional school, which is affiliated and sponsored by three local parishes: St. Nicholas, Berlinsville, Assumption B.V.M., Slatington, and Sacred Heart in Palmerton.