Perry Township Schools
Perry Township is a unique community. On the Southside we have a strong commitment to help not only our neighbors but those in need. The district reflects the values of our community. This is why you notice so many activities in our schools being planned to help others.
This week I would like to share a story about a recent event at Southport High School – the Riley Dance Marathon, which raised more than $23,000 to benefit Riley Hospital for Children. Not only was this $7,000 more than last year, but this year’s marathon had the highest student participation ever!
Participants celebrate the patients at Riley and stay on their feet during the entire event. The students sacrifice a little bit of comfort, which is symbolic for those children who can’t stand or dance. In the past 13 years the students have raised more than $100,000.
Funds are collected in many ways. Local restaurants have agreed to donate a percentage of profits during a specified period of time. Students use Riley Red buckets to collect change during “Miracle Minutes” at athletic events, and they offer gift wrapping at Christmas. Kickball tournaments, pizza and donut sales and collecting cans are other methods utilized to collect money.
This year’s dance was coordinated by Danielle Keeler and Tori Updike, and 16 committee directors and approximately 70 students volunteered their time and talents.
Jorie Oskay and Joseph Leonard, staff co-sponsors, established a goal to increase the number of students who participate in the event each year. They shared, “We believe that any student who becomes involved once, will want to participate every year during their high school career.”
In addition, Southport hosted a smaller version of the marathon at Southport Middle School, where more than $400 was raised. This introduction of the program to middle schoolers will encourage them to continue their involvement as they enter high school.
Many students who participated in the event remain active at the college level as well. Thus, the program just continues to grow and flourish. In fact, the marathon is also evolving into an occasion that involves students from Perry Meridian High.
This is only one example of the hundreds of ways our schools and organizations are involved in fundraising events. Our community cares, and it is important for our patrons that our schools reflect community values.
We are thankful that we live in Perry Township, and we are proud of our students and our staff for their contributions to the quality of life on the Southside.