Nothing says celebration like a bluebird sky, sweet treats from the Kona Ice treat truck, puffs of colorful powder, students with smiles as wide as an Atlanta freeway, and the Principal of West End Elementary, Dr. Dennis Drummond, wearing a wig that would make a box of Crayola crayons jealous.
If you are wondering how all these things can come together in one place, then wonder no more.
West End Elementary Schools’ yearly Color Run fundraiser has come to a close. After raising over $8,000 that will go towards helping teachers to better educate their students, administrators and teachers at West End wanted to show their appreciation for the efforts of their school’s families.
Each year, West End’s Parent Teacher Organization asks for donations from their community. These donations are collected in sponsorship of a student at West End who will run during the color run. After the donation period is finished, all students gather on the school yard to run a track, and along that track are educators dousing them with multicolored powder. As the race finishes, the entire class of children is sprinkled with vibrant hues as they dance their way across the finish line to popular Kidz Bop tunes.
After the run, you can bet those little tummies are needing a refill. So, the Kona Ice treat truck was parked conveniently on the yard where they served up delicious snacks to a deserving crowd. Teachers and students all dressed the part; from brightly colored tutus to neon hats and glasses, the entire school’s dress was as exciting as the celebration itself.
This day is always reserved to recognize the contributions of all West End’s community, but the top fundraisers will also get an additional surprise. Those students who raised at least $150 will be treated to a limo ride to lunch at one of Downtown Rome’s local eateries. The student who managed to raise the most money will get to be principal for the day and take over Dr. Dummond’s office as he walks them through a day in his shoes.
Dr. Drummond said that he is incredible proud of his West End Family and he wanted to provide a way to still show them in a safe and responsible way.
“First and foremost, is the safety and health of our kids and their families,” he said. “We are so excited that we were able to make some adjustments to our annual Color Run to make it a safe event. Instead of all grade levels
being out at one time, we have scheduled ever grade level to run individually. We are even having each class run individually, so where we would usually have only eight runs throughout the day, we now have 32 this year. We have worked to spread the event out over the course of the entire school day, everyone is wearing their masks when they are not running, and everyone is watching their distance. Our teachers worked so hard to make these adjustments and we were still able to host such a fun event.”
Dr. Drummond said that the West End Color Run is such an important event to his students and their parents that many of the 15 percent of his virtual learners actually visited campus just for this event.
“We believe in building a strong community at our school, so even though we have had some of our children learning off campus it has been great to come together in celebration of what they have accomplished to support education,” said Dr. Drummond. “We have even had a few parents join us. They are wearing their masks and we have an area around the track designated for them to stand, take pictures, and enjoy the day with us. It is so great to see their faces because this is the first time this year that our parents have been able to come out and participate in a school event.”
From aunts and uncles, to neighbors and friends of West End Elementary’s students, Dr. Drummond and the educators at his school are grateful for the outpouring of support for their school.
“Our PTO really does a great job organizing this event for us and we are so thankful for the strong community support we see here at West End,” Dr. Drummond said as he peaked trough his colorful bangs. “I want to take ever opportunity we have to say thank you and to let them know that we could not be a great school without their support!”