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Fund Run

Schools raise funds with fitness.

by Patrick Dunn

From the June, 2019 issue

Pittsfield Elementary principal Carol Shakarian says when they ask school families to support a fundraiser by buying something that's either "extra calories" or just "stuff they didn't need," their response is often: "I'd rather just donate."

That's why Pittsfield and other schools have embraced Get Movin', an online platform where schools can organize fundraising events including walkathons, dance-athons, read-athons--and the popular "fun run," a yearly staple at Pittsfield for more than a decade. Parents can create profile pages for their children so friends and relatives can donate in their names. The system also tracks donations by classroom, allowing teachers to foster in-school competitions.

Get Movin' takes 15 percent of all online donations, and donors have the option of adding a 10 percent "tip" for the company. Cash or check donations go straight to the school. Shakarian says either way it's a bargain--she calls any fundraiser that nets the school over 50 percent of the proceeds "a real win-win."

Get Movin' founder Wendy Tibus organized her first fun run in 2006 when she was PTA president at Commerce Township's Country Oaks Elementary. Tibus says it turned out to be the school's "best fundraiser by far."

At the time, Tibus worked for Zap-a-Snack, a Pennsylvania-based frozen food company, "selling junk food" to school fundraisers. When she lost her job a few months later, she decided to give schools a healthier option.

Pittsfield was Get Movin's first Ann Arbor client, so Tibus was delighted recently when it won the company's annual contest for the school that produces the best promotional video for its events.

The contest is judged by all nineteen Get Movin' staff, so Tibus didn't expect Pittsfield to win. When the result was announced, she says, "I just about lost it. I started crying. It's $1,000, and I knew that they could use it."     (end of article)

[Originally published in June, 2019.]


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