By Karrie Meyers – Highlands Ranch, Colorado … Mile High Academy students walked during the 2nd annual walk-a-thon fundraiser for MHA’s annual fund.

The event took on a different look, due to the ongoing pandemic restrictions causing the daylong event to be divided in 90-minute block schedules for each cohort, with the event expanding over two days.

Laughter and cheers could be heard as the classes raced around the soccer field during the gathering held at the end of September.

Faculty, staff and volunteers were on the sidelines, cheering the students and passing out prizes including: sunglasses, stress balls, stickers and ice cream.

Participants wore a blue tie-dye 2020 walk-a-thon t-shirt, encouraging them to remain #MHAStrong.

Following Douglas County health guidelines, parents were allowed on campus to volunteer with helping count laps, handing out prizes and fellowshipping with students and teachers.

“As a parent that has always been heavily involved in volunteering on campus in years past, this year has proven to be a huge adjustment. With limited access to be able to be on campus this year due to COVID restrictions, I was ecstatic to learn of the opportunity to volunteer in-person for the school’s annual walk-a-thon,” Abby Helm, parent of three students, said.

“I felt a sense of normalcy helping with the event, and the excitement of my children seeing me back on campus volunteering was nothing short of heartwarming,” she added.

Pizza parties were awarded to the classes who raised the most donations through the competition.  Individual awards were also awarded. The walk-a-thon was able to raise around $16,000 for the annual fund.

“The MHA team worked hard to develop a plan for a safe, fun event, one the students could enjoy while taking pride in helping the school raise money,” said Jocelyn Aalborg, MHA’s vice principal of finance and development.

— Karrie Myers is Mile High Academy’s communication assistant; photos supplied