Skip to main content

The City Journals

Rainbow bubbles lead to pot of gold for Hawthorn fundraiser

May 11, 2018 12:30PM ● By Jet Burnham

: Families can’t resist running through the bubbles during the Fun Run. (Jet Burnham/City Journals)

By Jet Burnham | [email protected]

Adding even more fun to their Fun Run on April 20, Hawthorn Academy flooded the field with bubbles. Five automatic bubble machines spewed bubbles at families as they took the first turn of the track. 

Both the South Jordan and West Jordan campuses participated in the fundraiser which collected $16,000 for the two schools and 17 units of life-saving blood for the Red Cross.

“I think it was very successful—we made money, had fun and enjoyed family time together,” said event coordinator Stephanie Dykstra. “Mostly it’s about getting out in the community, doing things and getting active.”

In addition to the Fun Run and blood drive, the fundraiser hosted a silent auction and food trucks. 

Participants even received a souvenir shirt. A $15 donation covered the cost of  registration and an event t-shirt. For each lap completed, runners’ shirts were stamped with a splash of color.

“It’s fun they get a different color of star stamp for each lap,” said Amy Lifferth, parent of a fourth and sixth grader. “It makes it a fun memory.”

The stamped shirt became a unique keepsake of the event, one that students can wear on designated dress-down days.

Dykstra, who has run the fundraiser for nine years, said the activities were aimed at younger students since, between the two locations, there are two elementary schools and one middle school. There was a bouncy house, face painting, balloon animals, karate and dance demonstrations and plenty of prizes.

The focus for older students and parents was on healthy lifestyles. They perused vendor booths for crafts, martial arts instruction, poison control, Winder Dairy, First Med Urgent Care, Rocky Mountain Physical Therapy, BACA (Bikers Against Child Abuse) and more.

“I like the focus on the healthy living and getting the kids active,” said Lifferth.

Volunteers on the school’s Health and Wellness Committee planned the event. They solicited donations from the community, corporate sponsors, family businesses, Academy employees and families.

“We just reached out to them and the community is so generous,” said Yvonne Ruiz-Diaz, president of the parent organization at the South Jordan campus and co-coordinator of the event. Community businesses provided items for the prize wheel, raffle and silent auction.

The silent auction brought in $2800 of profit. Families bid on high-value gift baskets that included a Park City hotel stay, family memberships to the Loveland Living Aquarium, Natural History Museum passes, tickets to Deer Valley Music Festival, Real soccer games, Hale Center Theater and Desert Star Theater. Other themed baskets included products from Home Depot, Scentsy, Mary Kay, Pampered Chef and

Shaunae Behunin, counselor at the South Jordan campus, bid on several baskets. She hoped to get theater tickets and to take home the most popular basket—Southwest Airlines tickets.

Student donations and Fun Run registrations totaled more than half of the proceeds. Students were encouraged to earn the money themselves. The committee created a calendar with daily suggestions: fold laundry, pull weeds, help neighbors or just appeal to grandma for cash.

“I just had her do little odd jobs to earn the money,” said Marianne Anderson, grandma of a first grader.

Linda Lundgren asked her kids—a kindergartener, fourth grader and seventh grader—to clean the house to earn their donations.

Marina Limbaugh’s eight year old asked if she could earn money for getting up in the morning without whining.

The promise of a tablet for the top-earner was a huge incentive for students to collect money.

“We had talked about if someone earned over $300, they would get a special prize,” said Dykstra. “Somehow, when they were announcing it in the classes, the word “tablet” was thrown in.” Limbaugh, who serves on the Wellness committee, was so impressed when a first grader collected $510, she donated the tablet herself.

 All proceeds from the fundraiser go directly to the two campuses.

“Our donations to the school almost always go towards technology items, such as tablets and computer labs for the students,” said Dykstra.