Sunday, October 9 was a perfect fall morning for a run through the woods to help provide safe post-graduation activities for Windham students. A small group of runners came together to run along the Mountain Division Trail in support of Windham High School’s 2018 Project Graduation.
The rain held off and though humidity was high, the overall temperature was comfortable. The scenic trail took runners and walkers past trees bursting with autumn colors and peaceful water views. The low-key atmosphere encouraged peaceful enjoyment over competition, with some participants stopping to snap photos along the way. All were there to show support for the efforts of Project Grad 2018.
The race moved from its typical spring date to mid-fall, to avoid last minute chaos as project graduation activities neared, said race coordinator Brenda Caouette. The change in the date didn’t impact participation, she added.
|Three of the fun run winners|
Winners of the race were: 1st Place Male and overall winner, Tom Farwell; 2nd place Male, Steve Douglass; 3rd Place Male, Sandy Prince; 1st Place Female, Brenda Caouette; 2nd Place Female, Susan Prince; and 3rd Place Female, Kim Hackett.
Elaine Herzig, Project Grad 2018 Chair, said “I'd love to thank our volunteer race coordinators, Brenda Caouette and Meesh and Mike Preston, for their time and efforts. The 5K would not have happened without them!”
This race was just one of many events organized by a small group of parents who have been fundraising since last April, when the previous class was finished with their efforts. “It’s really a group effort. We have a good core of 10 or 12 parents who are putting in a lot of hours to get this done,” Herzig said.
The mission of the group is to send any of the 248 Windham High School seniors who would like to attend, to a chemical free, safe event after graduation, said Herzig. The trip itself will be a surprise for the students. The estimated cost is $150 per student, which leaves the group with a tremendous fundraising goal. “This is just one event that will hopefully help us get there sooner rather than later,” Herzig said.
The group will continue fundraising until that goal is met, which they hope happens by April. The next event on the horizon is a Shopping Extravaganza. “Five local vendors have generously offered Project Grad all or a portion of proceeds from the sale of their goods,” Herzig said. They will host a "Demo Night" on Thursday, October 19 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in Rooms 301 and 302 at Windham High and welcome all in the community to join them for some pre-holiday shopping.
Vendors at the event will be: Pampered Chef, Scentsy, Opulenza Designs, Thirty-One and LipSense. Sales will continue online through November 3.
After the Shopping Extravaganza, the next big event will take place at the Athletic Boosters Holiday Craft Fair on November 11 and 12 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., where Project Grad will have a pie table and a table with Windham apparel for sale. There will also be a cash raffle, with 3 winners drawn on Sunday afternoon at the fair. Tickets will be $5 each, and prizes will be $250 first prize, $150 second prize and $100 third prize.
In addition to these larger events, there are continuous fundraising efforts throughout the year, including an ongoing bottle-drive at Patmans Redemption Center. Anyone can drop off bottles at any time, and mark them for Project Grad 2018.
Anyone with questions about events can contact the group at email@example.com.