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Eastern ECHO 10/13/2010
Pennies for Pencils hosts 5k to buy school supplies
Added October 13, 2010 at 11:07 pm
This Saturday at Eastern Michigan University, Pennies for Pencils is hosting the 5K Pumpkin Run/Walk to raise money to buy school supplies for the Willow Run School District as well as Franklin Middle School in Wayne, Mich.
The entry fee is $20 for those older than 12 and $10 for those younger. The meeting location is the area by Pittman and Hoyt Hall. Registration will start at 8:30 a.m., the race will begin at 9 a.m. and the walk will begin at 10 a.m.
The route of the race is still being set. It will begin in the area at the meeting location, wind down Huron River Drive and turn right on Anne Street. The event is expected to end in the same location it began by noon, when the awards ceremony will start.
EMU student Adam DeLand has gone to school in Michigan his entire life. A former student at Estabrook Elementary School in Ypsilanti, he now wants to give back to the state’s schools, like the ones he attended.
DeLand is now a member of Pennies for Pencils, a state recognized nonprofit organization dedicated to helping to improve the quality of local classrooms by giving supplies to classrooms in need.
The Pumpkin Run is still looking for volunteers and runner/walkers. It has raised $400 so far, and it is hoping to raise $1,000 from the event. Teachers from the schools receiving donations, sponsors of the businesses that donated to the race and members of the EMU/Ypsilanti community will be participating.
The money made from donations and the Pumpkin Run’s entry fees will allow the group members to purchase the supplies that the teachers requested for their classrooms. The group buys what it can, mostly supplies such as stationery, binders, notebooks and pencils.
“The most memorable experience for me is donating the supplies to the schools,” 23-year-old Leslie Hillebrand, Pennies for Pencils’ event coordinator, said. “Physically presenting the supplies is rewarding. The kids need them.”
Pennies for Pencils was created when a group of friends who met at EMU wanted to combine their strengths to help raise money for Michigan schools.
The initial members of the group are Corey Beadle, Emilie Hannon, Anthony DeNardis and Hillebrand.
DeNardis is a teacher who graduated from EMU, and he saw first-hand how some classrooms lacked essential supplies.
DeLand, 20, joined because Beadle is his big brother in DeLand’s fraternity.
“I originally started this because I wanted to get involved with my big [brother],” DeLand said. “He’s a fun guy, but now I’m starting to like giving back to the community.”
It is up to the teacher’s discretion how he or she wants to receive the supplies. Sometimes it’s low-key because the teachers don’t want the children to feel like they are some sort of charity. Other times, the teachers have the members come to their classrooms and use the group as a teaching tool.
“We’re different because we present our donation in the form of supplies,” Hillebrand said. “We don’t know where the money is going to if it was in a check. We physically give them
EASTERN ECHO 2/11/2010