When it comes to celebrating fundraising success, St. John Catholic School in Westminster has found that goo can be good.
This year, St. John students had an added incentive to participate in the school's recent 5K Walk and Fund Run. Instead of the usual prizes and awards often generated by fundraising events, students who raised more than $500 were rewarded by having gooey slime dripped over their heads at a special wrap-up assembly Nov. 22.
In front of a packed school gymnasium, students stepped on stage and invited their parents, teachers and staff to join them for the "sliming."
Earlier this fall, students, parents and staff participated in the St. John School 5K Walk and Fund Run - an annual event that combines fitness with fundraising. Students were encouraged to walk, run or jog the approximate three-mile course traversing the St. John Catholic Community campus to raise funds for the school.
The overall goal was to raise $30,000 from this year's 5K Walk and Fund Run, and total proceeds reached $31,567 - all earmarked for scholarships and technology upgrades at the school.
Third-grader Shea Kennedy was the top fundraiser for the Parent Teacher Organization-sponsored event. He raised $1,370 for St. John Catholic School, which he has attended since kindergarten.
When asked how he raised the money, Shea responded: "I raised money by asking my parents, relatives and friends to sponsor me or be a sponsor of the 5K race. I sent out emails, made phone calls and one reminder phone call to my grandmother. It was fun watching every day as donations and sponsorships would come in."
Shea described the 5K as "very exciting" but said his favorite part of the whole fundraiser was the closing ceremony. "Getting slimed was great," he said. "I couldn't get all the slime out of my hair for a couple of days and I forgot to wear my goggles, but it was so much fun."
Sara Lawson, a second-grader at St. John, and her sister Clare Lawson, who is in pre-kindergarten at the school, together raised $725 for the event. They sent mailers to family and friends, and they emailed family and friends who donated online using the event website.
Sara's favorite part of the event was when she got slimed. "It was sticky and gooey and really, really weird," she said.
Mom Amy Lawson, a teacher at the school, said Sara "ran some and walked some" for the 5K Walk and Fund Run. "She loved walking with her friends," Lawson said.
Event Co-chairwoman Dottie Pumputis, whose son Nicholas Pumputis got slimed, said, "We are so pleased with the success of this fundraiser. Our school community really came together to make this a success. The sliming award was a great incentive for our students. Those getting slimed really enjoyed it, but the students watching and cheering had just as much fun."
In all, 13 students and two adults were slimed.
Event Co-chairwoman and PTO President Deb Kennedy said of the 5K Walk and Fund Run: "It is very easy to come up with fun things to do because the St. John School students are very enthusiastic and inspired. They get behind all our endeavors and make them successful."
Note: Mary Ford-Naill, who is a member of the St. John Catholic School Board and chairs its Marketing Committee, provided the information for this article.