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Middle Gate’s ‘Wild’ Walkathon



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Middle Gate Elementary School students were greeted by a “hot dog” and “French fries” as they arrived at school on April 25.

Many students burst into laughter, looked away shyly, and/or greeted the food-duo with a “good morning” before entering the school building for the day, frequently looking back over their shoulder for another glance.

Their faces seemed to say, did that really just happen?

Middle Gate Principal Christopher Geissler was dressed as a hot dog and lead teacher John Sullivan was dressed as a packet of French fries because the school community raised money for the PTA’s fundraising efforts with Get Movin.’ The Florida-based program’s mission is to equip schools with a fun, healthy, and safe solution to achieving financial success in a single fundraiser, while promoting the physical and mental well-being of all students, according to its website.

But the fun did not stop with students arriving at the school Monday.

Just after morning announcements, fourth grade students exited the building to take part in the PTA’s Walkathon celebration for the fundraising effort. Each grade level took turns heading outside to complete two laps around the building’s exterior for the Walkathon.

PTA Vice President and Walkathon Chair Ella Iszczyszyn and other PTA members, parents, and volunteers were outside ready to oversee the event as the fourth grade students lined up.

According to a release ahead of the event, the Walkathon and fundraiser were held as, “The pandemic severely limited our ability to raise funds that support our teachers and students to the fullest with such things as new equipment, enrichment programs, etc. This event will help to restore the general fund.”

According to the PTA, 100% of the students registered to take part, and all students were encouraged to raise $50. The school’s original goal was to raise $10,000.

Final donations were due to the fundraiser by April 29 at 11:50 pm. The entire Newtown community was welcome to take part in the fundraiser.

The theme for the WalkAThon was “walk on the wild side.” Iszczyszyn handed out safari hats for teachers to wear for the laps, and students were encouraged to wear “wild” clothes to school that day.

Before the fourth grade students took off to walk the two laps around the building, Iszczyszyn announced the fourth grade raised $4,435 for the fundraiser, and in total the school, so far, had raised $23,545.

And as the students finished laps, a hot dog and French fries cheered them on.

Education Editor Eliza Hallabeck can be reached at eliza@thebee.com.

Middle Gate fourth grade students, in front, Cole Bojorquez, with, from left behind Cole, Luke Graffeo, Tristan Aubin, and Isabella Petterson take part in the school’s April 25 Walkathon. —Bee Photos, Hallabeck
Middle Gate Principal Christopher Geissler, left, and Lead Teacher John Sullivan greet students as they arrive on Monday, April 25, while wearing a hot dog and French fries costumes.
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