Manawa Wolf Walk
School event raises funds for PTO
By Holly Neumann
The sixth annual PTO Wolf Walk, which took place on Oct. 7, was another success for Manawa Elementary School.
“The Wolf Walk is the Manawa Elementary PTO’s major fundraiser,” said organizer Stephanie Riske. “Our school receives 100 percent of the proceeds.”
According to Riske, the PTO wants to help make a positive difference.
“We want to help our teachers get things for their classrooms that are needed,” she said. “We want our kids to enjoy their time here, so we help find educational ways of making each of their days great.”
She said that school budgets often don’t include things such as money for class trips.
“Some families can’t afford that, so we offset those costs rather than having to eliminate field trips all together,” she said.
Generally the event raises anywhere from $6,000 to $10,000.
“Students collect pledges from family and friends for the Wolf Walk,” Riske said. “Then students walk the Little Wolf High School track to music and enjoy time in the outdoors with their classmates and teachers.”
Students also like to compete to see how many miles they can make.
“All the kids get a bead for every lap they run and on the fourth lap they get a black bead, which equals a mile,” Riske said. “So for the younger kids that this may be their first or second year, this is quite exciting to see how quick the distance can add up.”
All students receive a T-shirt to wear for the day of the walk, in addition to a week full of great prizes given away each day.
“Some of the prizes include a kindle, scooter, games, movie tickets and more,” Riske said. “We have amazing donors in our community and surrounding area and the kids do a great job collecting donations.”
In past years donations have been made to the Book Room to promote literacy, field trips, bell choir equipment, updating the school’s water fountains and the end of year fun day.
The Wolf Walk also promotes health and wellness.
“School bonding is also a huge part,” Riske said. “Watching the kids laugh together and not deal with the stresses that can come about in the everyday classroom.”
Often the high school students will come and help during their free periods at school.
“The high school students are such great role models for the kids,” said Riske. “This year we got to see some of the football players carrying the younger boys over their shoulder and run a lap, as well as others taking some of the kids by the hands and guiding them around track to complete their first mile.”
Even “Wolfie,” the school mascot, joined in the fun to give high fives as students made their way around the track.
Riske noted that all the students and teachers look forward to the event.
“The excitement that is felt when the kids get to the track and walk their first lap, following the band with the wolf mascot, is unreal,” Riske said. “It truly is a day where we can say ‘We are Wolves,’ and be proud.”