IMS invites Iola to take a walk

Iola Middle School wants you to hit the pavement, for a cause.
Each year, the school holds a community service fund raiser to raise money for a variety of needs.
The funds buy school supplies and clothing for middle school students in need, for diabetic students to go to a special camp, or to other needs of children.
“The money goes to summer camp fees for special needs kids,” said Principal Jack Stanley. “We buy shoes, we buy clothes, just things the kids might need.
“At Thanksgiving we take food baskets to families,” he added.
“When Seneca School burned, we raised $6,000 through an all-night dance. We gave the money to the Seneca kids,” Stanley said.
This year, Stanley decided to try something new. Instead of a dance, he’s hosting a 10-mile walk along the Prairie Spirit Trail.
“It’s the first time we’ve done this,” he said. “All of our other events have had great student participation.”
Stanley is hoping the walk proves the same.
“Students have all received forms,” he said. Now it’s up to the community.
The students, or anyone wishing to join, collect pledges based on miles walked. Stanley is hoping for a minimum donation of $1 per mile.
Pledges can be turned in between 8:30 and 10:30 a.m. May 9, when walkers will be bussed from Cofachique Park to Colony to begin their walk back to Iola. The first bus will probably leave shortly after 8:30, he said, with shuttles for other participants departing as needed.
Restrooms and check points will be set up along the route.
“Last Saturday, my wife and I and our dog Winnie did the walk,” Stanley said. And yes, they made a pledge. Even Winnie brought in some bucks.
“It took us two hours and 40 minutes,” Stanley said. For less avid walkers, “four hours would be an easy walk.”
Community members who would like to help out, either volunteering at water stations along the route or by collecting pledges and walking, are welcome to do so, said Stanley.
In fact, “I challenge the Meltdown teams to get a $10 pledge and come join us,” Stanley said. Contact the middle school at 365-4785 for a form, or just collect pledges on a sheet of paper. Donations should be turned in the morning of the walk, Stsnley said.
After the walk, a hot dog cookout will be served to participants in Cofachique Park. Kids raising the most money can win an I-pod or a new pair of shoes, Stanley said.
“I figure, after walking 10 miles, they might need some,” he said with a grin.