Horns honked and casual passers-by obliged as they gazed at students draped in their school colors and armed with homemade signs

It was evident to anyone who observed as they traversed throughout downtown Palmerton on Friday that St. John Neumann Regional School students wore their emotions on their sleeves.

Amid cooler temperatures, students, parents and event organizers from both of the school's campuses in Palmerton and Slatington anxiously embarked on the school's 10th annual Walkathon. Funds collected from the event will go toward school programs such as field trips, school supplies, and computer equipment for the students.

Pupils in grades K-3 from the Slatington campus took a path around the borough park, while students in grades 4-8 from the Palmerton campus followed their usual route through and around the town.

Jacob Fenstermaker, a second-grade pupil at the Slatington campus, said he enjoyed the activity immensely.

"It's fun, we get to walk, and get a billboard," said Jacob. "We just walk and have a lot of fun."

The theme of this year's event was "Shocking Discoveries." Along with the walk itself, the students heard a presentation from the Visiting Science Lab of the DaVinci Science Center of Allentown as well.

Bill Hinchey, event coordinator, said participation in this year's event was at an all-time high.

"We have a lot of new faces, a lot of younger parents, and a record number of business sponsors," Hinchey said. "That visibility, vitality, shows what we mean to Palmerton."

Hinchey said despite the cooler temperatures, the weather cooperated enough for the students to partake in the popular endeavor.

"We lucked out with the weather, because the event is very weather dependent," he said. "It's a combination of school spirit, fundraising, and education."

The event is the Homeschool Association's major fundraiser of the year.