http://danvillesanramon.com/print/story/print/2008/09/19/rancho-romero-launches-healthy-fundraiser


Danville Express

Newsfront - September 19, 2008

Rancho Romero launches healthy fundraiser

Event promote health plus global and environmental awareness

by Michelle Olson

Fitness and tools for healthy living. That's what Christine Lane is striving to give her daughters and all the children at Rancho Romero Elementary School in Alamo.

Last school year her oldest daughter, Ainsley, now in second grade, brought home a pamphlet for the annual cookie dough fundraiser. Lane, a certified personal trainer and fitness instructor, thought there must be a healthier way to raise money for the school.

It was too late for last year, but since then she has been working with the Rancho Romero Education Fund to replace the cookie dough sales with a Student Body Campaign Wellness Event. It's scheduled for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 24, on the school field.

"If I can raise at least $10,000 then I would have reached the goal and been able to replace (the cookie dough drive) with something the kids can really learn from - and give them life tools," Lane explained. Her younger daughter Olivia is now in kindergarten.

The event will include a walkathon around the school's field during different times depending on grade levels and each classroom's P.E. time. Parents and other supporters can pledge per lap or any amount to sponsor a child or classroom for the total endeavor.

On the field will be Clif Bars, and a book fair on subjects around healthy eating. The occasion will also be used to teach children about global charity efforts. Volunteers will be in attendance from Children of Grace, a Danville-based organization that helps orphans and widows of the AIDS/HIV epidemic.

"They will be talking about their work in Africa," said Lane.

Healthy Starts Make Healthy Hearts, a program developed by a Pleasanton mother for her children's classroom, will give a health presentation using a seven-foot doll named "Stuffee." The body opens, allowing students to remove the anatomically correct organs, which are the size of an average adult's. This teaches students about the heart, lungs and digestive system while explaining three basics of healthy living: eating five fruits and vegetables a day; exercising for one hour a day; and never ever smoking.

"Teaching them younger maybe will make a little more of an impact on their health," said Siah Fried, founder of Healthy Starts. "It's how to get them excited about their health."

Lane also wants to implement environmental awareness as a component of the fundraiser. For one thing, she is hoping the majority of parents will go online to sponsor their children so it can be almost "paperless." And, at the event, she wants the chance for students to learn about recycling.

Lane said she has been receiving $200 donations from businesses to sponsor a class. Then the class makes a poster touting the business that will be displayed at the walkathon. Also the students will be able to choose a charitable organization to receive a portion of the contribution.

This type of fundraiser is also better than the cookie dough sales, Lane noted, because it doesn't require the kids or the parents going door to door. And with the dough sales, after the shipment came in, the parents had to organize the items and pass them out.

"This will simplify the process of donating for the parents," Lane said.

She hopes this event will lead to more activities that will keep students active, such as yoga, bike-to-school days, or an after-school boot camp. Things that will be fun for the kids and will translate into their daily lives, she said.

Lane has turned Student Body Campaign Wellness Event into a nonprofit organization that she wants to take to other schools, districts and states to share the "wellness policy."

While making money for the school is important, Lane considers it secondary to extending the message of life tools and healthy living to the kids.

"I want to emphasize it's about giving kids the tools to live life: recycling, environmental issues and the giving back to charity," she clarified. "I want to see wellness implemented."

To make a donation to the walkathon, call Lane at 788-1111.

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