On May 24, University High School (UHS) hosted its first Trojan Jogathon at the stadium track. Sixty participants, including students, their families, UHS staff and Intervention Center for Early Childhood (ICEC) staff, circled the stadium from 9 to 10 a.m. Exceeding their fundraising goal of $1000 to donate to the ICEC, the UHS ICEC Club, corporate sponsors and participating clubs, especially the UHS girls tennis team who raised approximately $800, helped raised $2070.
Margaret Bilder (Jr.) and Becca Kim (Jr.) had proposed and organized the first UHS Jogathon as part of Kim’s Girl Scout Gold Award Project. A student-run Jogathon committee led by Kuki Tran (Jr.), Joanna Small (Jr.), Michelle Maddox (So.), Andrea Jacobs (Jr.), Bruce Miranda (Jr.), Anja Seng (So.) and Chloe Sutton (Sr.) arranged and oversaw club registration, sponsor contributions and t-shirt distribution throughout the month. Kim said, “The hardest part this year was publicity and motivation for the event since it was a new and complicated process raising money for individual teams and clubs.”
A month earlier, the Jogathon Committee, alongside Clubs Commissioner Dania Ashary (Sr.), invited club presidents across the campus to attend jogathon interest meetings. Throughout April and May, club presidents distributed pledge packets with an admission fee of $15 and sponsor forms to interested members. Pledges collected in excess of the admission fees are expected to be donated to club accounts and UHS athletic programs.
Due to concerns of surrounding residential neighborhoods, musicians arranged to perform at the event were unable to do so. Mr. Michael Gerakos (Activities Director) and Mrs. Jeanne Jelnick (English Dept.) arranged music through the stadium PA system. After forty five minutes of running, skipping and/or walking, runners enjoyed free Yogurtland samples and participated in a raffle for Yogurtland, Blaze Pizza, Elephant Bar and Bruxie gift cards. ICEC volunteers – some of whom participated in the jogathon –set up an information booth alongside the track for runners interested in learning about at-risk youth, programs and volunteering opportunities. Bilder said,” ICEC has been supportive of our project since the beginning, and I’m really glad we were able to work with such an amazing organization.”
Next year, Bilder and Kim have proposed alternative dates, including hosting the jogathon as a kick-off event to Spirit Week and award spirit points to classes with the most participation. When asked about what specific improvements they envision for the upcoming jogathon, Kim said, “We may focus on simplifying the process and publicizing for general attendance, not on individual team.”
Written by MAHIMA VERMA