CLAYTON -- Cooper Elementary School is gearing up for its second annual Run for the Rockets 5K Run/Walk fundraiser. The PTA plans to use the money they earn to improve the educational experience of their students through the purchases of smart boards and other educational tools.
The event is scheduled to take place on Saturday, March 2. A one mile fun run begins at nine a.m. followed by the run/walk at 9:30 a.m. Younger children can get in on the action with a 100-yard dash at 10:30. The race route will wind through Michner Hills subdivision, up Front Street and back to Fayetteville Street. The course has been certified to assure participants that it is a true 5K event.
The cost of early entry is $15 for the walk and $20 for the run. The entry cost for runners includes a chipped time device by Young and Associates to ensure an accurate finish time. There is no cost for participation in the mile or 100-yard dash. The early entry deadline is February 16th, but runners and walkers can still register on race day.
“An event like this is only possible through the generosity of our race sponsors,” said Heather Moser, the Cooper Elementary 5K Co-Chairperson.
“We have seen a huge decline in sponsorship for the event this year,” Moser continued. “The downtown businesses have been incredibly generous with donations of gift cards and prize items geared to excite the students and staff, but we need sponsors to help defray the cost of the event.”
Area businesses that have agreed to sponsor the event include Clayton Animal Hospital, Doctors Vision Center, Four Oaks Bank and BJ’s Wholesale Club. Sponsorships levels are available from $100 to $2,000, but those are just suggestions.
“We will gladly accept any donations” Moser said.
Generating support through the PTA can be a challenge at Cooper Elementary.
“As a Title One School, Cooper doesn’t have the same financial means coming into our PTA that some of the other local schools do,” Moser said. “Parents and teachers do all they can for the students, but events like the 5K are important for our school getting some of the extras that enhance the child’s educational experience.”
The PTA has set a financial goal of $10,000 for the event this year. “Last year it rained on race day, so we’re hoping for good weather to bring out the runners.”
Community members who want to get involved, but are not interested in running or walking can work as volunteers. Last year the race route retraced some of the streets. This year’s race route does not retrace any streets, so more volunteers are needed to hand out water to the runners. “We would love to have high school students or girl scout troops. Anyone from the community is welcomed to attend and help,” Moser said.
The Run for the Rockets is the conclusion of Cooper’s annual Community Day Celebration for its students. On Friday, the first, students and teachers will welcome members of the police, fire department and EMT’s to the campus to get to know Clayton’s first responders. Students will solicit their own sponsors to support them in a school-wide walk.