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Pleasant Valley PTOs raise funds through Bear Walk

The Parent Teacher Organization from Pleasant Valley Elementary and Intermediate schools hosted the fifth annual Bear Walk Friday night at the high school’s track.

The Bear Walk is the largest fundraiser for the two PTOs.

Heather Blum, president of the PVE PTO, said the elementary school students have raised $15,000 and the intermediate school had raised $7,000. She expected the count to go higher once the event actually started.

Jessica Balbuena, the vice president of the PVI PTO, explained that the children are given a packet of blank labels at the beginning of the school year and asked to fill in the labels with the addresses of family and friends they would like to have as sponsors for the walk. The two PTOs then sent out a letter to the people asking them to sponsor the child in the walk. If they chose to make a donation, then they could do so either online or by mail to the school.

Blum said the funds are used to pay for everything from mini-grants to the teachers to field day T-shirts for the children and free family fun events including the Bear Walk, which had free admission.

The children who wanted to participate in the walk got a little reward as well. For each lap they walked, they were given a charm for their lanyards. She said the first year, the charm was a person walking, the second year was a bare foot, and the third year was sneakers. This year it was figures of people jumping, running and doing other athletic activities. She didn’t say what the charm was for the fourth year.

The Bear Walk also included other fun activities like a short obstacle course, concession stand, 50-50 tickets, and a trivia question game with a prize for the winner.

Grown-ups and children can be seen walking the track Friday night at the fifth annual Bear Walk fundraiser at Pleasant Valley High School. It’s a PTO event for the intermediate and elementary schools. KRISTINE PORTER/TIMES NEWS
The Pleasant Valley High School mascot gives a student a big bear hug at the Bear Walk Friday night at Pleasant Valley High School.
Children race off the minute they’re told, “Go,” Friday night at the Bear Walk 2017 at Pleasant Valley High School. KRISTINE PORTER/TIMES NEWS
Fluorescent pledge notes hang on the chain-link fence surrounding the track at Pleasant Valley high School. The PTOs for the elementary and intermediate schools raised more than $22,000. KRISTINE PORTER/TIMES NEWS
With each lap completed, the children stopped for a moment to get a charm to hang on their lanyard. This year’s charm was a tiny plastic person. Some were jumping, others running or walking. KRISTINE PORTER/TIMES NEWS
Ready to roll, these children almost couldn’t contain their drive to begin the race at the Bear Walk Friday night at Pleasant Valley High School. KRISTINE PORTER/TIMES NEWS