Jesse Vannoy, 6, leads a pack of kindergarten and first-grade bike riders into the turn Tuesday at Calvary Baptist School in Craig. Vannoy and 27 others participated in the school's Bike-a-Thon fundraiser, raising $2,000 with their efforts.

Photo by Nate Waggenspack

Jesse Vannoy, 6, leads a pack of kindergarten and first-grade bike riders into the turn Tuesday at Calvary Baptist School in Craig. Vannoy and 27 others participated in the school's Bike-a-Thon fundraiser, raising $2,000 with their efforts.

Bike-a-Thon at Craig school makes fundraising fun

After being delayed by weather for a couple weeks, the Calvary Baptist School got its Bike-a-Thon going this week and had another big year.

The school had 28 children from kindergarten up through seventh grade riding laps to raise money for the school and a good cause.

The Bike-a-Thon was originally scheduled for Friday, Sept. 27 and then the following Friday, Oct. 4, but rainy and then snowy weather kept the outdoor activity from going off. So when administrator Jamie Tipton heard more poor weather might be on the way for this Friday, it was rescheduled for Tuesday’s sunny weather and went off without a hitch.

“We like to aim for Friday because it’s a half day for us and we could send the kids home afterward,” Tipton said. “But we kept having bad luck with the weather. So we said on Tuesday, we’re getting it over with, and it worked. Now (the weather) can do whatever it wants to.”

The fundraiser consisted of the riders collecting pledged donations from community members. Some pledged a set amount, while others said they would donate based on how far the child was able to ride on the day of the event.

Those who promised lap-based donations had to open up their pocket books afterward, as the 28 riders at Calvary Baptist completed a total of 530 laps around the school parking lot Tuesday, Tipton said.

First the kindergarten and first-grade students rode laps for 15 minutes, followed by second through seventh-graders riding 15 minutes of their own. With parents, faculty and their fellow students cheering them on the whole way, tired but smiling faces sat atop their bikes the entire way.

Athan Smith, 8, pushed hard and completed over 40 laps. He was wiped out afterward, but enjoyed the ride.

“It was pretty good,” Smith said. “I like passing people (on my bike). It was pretty rough on my chest, but it was good.”

It was Smith’s first ever Bike-a-Thon and one to remember. Jesse Vannoy, 6, was riding for the first time as well.

“Just riding is fun,” said Vannoy, who was breathing heavy afterward but said he had ridden for over 15 minutes before with his family. “We go all around town when we ride.”

With one child’s pledge money still to be turned in, Tipton said the Bike-a-Thon had raised $1,927.60. She said that last addition would likely put them over $2,000.

About half that money will go to the school, and the other half will be donated to a program called BLESS, a non-profit organization that empowers rural communities outside the U.S. to become more self-sufficient through education and training.

Calvary Baptist will hold an assembly and choose the area their money will go soon. They are choosing between India, the Philippines and Africa.

“They have a heart for other kids, and they have a blast picking the country the money goes to,” Tipton said.

Since the Bike-a-Thon was delayed, the school’s next fundraiser, selling butter braid pastries, will begin soon as well. Contact the school at 970-824-3111 for more information.

Nate Waggenspack can be reached at 970-875-1795 or nwaggenspack@craigdailypress.com.

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