Opinion | Granby Elementary School celebrates Ski-a-thon success | SkyHiNews.com

Opinion | Granby Elementary School celebrates Ski-a-thon success

Maggie Keller
Granby Elementary School P.E. teacher
Kaydee Jensen, Granby Elementary School PTO president
From Feb. 22-23, Granby Elementary School students swooped across the track at Polhamus Park during the school's Ski-a-thon. The Ski-a-thon raises funds to support classroom needs while giving children a chance to ski, some for the first time. Pictured is Mrs. Ledesma's kindergarten class in skis together.
Kaydee Jensen/Courtesy Photo

Together we are Grand! Early in December 2022, help started pouring in from the community to support Maggie Keller, the physical education teacher at Granby Elementary School, with the school’s cross country skiing unit.

Students spend four weeks learning how to cross-country ski; one week in the gym and then three weeks on the snow. The unit finishes with the school’s biggest fundraiser, the Granby Elementary School’s annual Ski-a-Thon. The students, staff and teachers are so thankful to all of you who help make this unique program possible.

Through generous donations and a grant, students in grades second through fifth were able to ski with new equipment, boots and skis that were donated through Snow Mountain Ranch. It is with extreme gratitude that we thank the Granby Rotary, Roadhouse Bar & Grill and the Louise Heckert Fund for a $9,000 donation.

A huge component to making this skiing unit possible for our students is a track that is built and maintained by the Town of Granby’s Peter Butrimovich and Levi Harmon. Butrimovich expressed that, “this may be the only time some of these kids get to ski,” and he is happy to help.

Countless volunteer hours were put into coaching and supporting students. A special thank you to Sue Thurston, Diana Lynn Rau, Sarah Clements, Molly Jordan, volunteers from Snow Mountain Ranch Nordic Center, Middle Park High School crew and teachers, and Maggie Michalowski for your time. We appreciate you.

Appropriate storage is an important necessity to ensure the ski equipment is well taken care of and can be used for years to come. With the help of Kurt Spellerberg, Andy Birch, Earl Martin, Adam Walker, Garrett Tibbetts and David Brockway, a custom self-drying boot rack was built. Thank you to Alpine Lumber for donating the lumber to build the boot rack. Thank you to Country Ace Hardware for discounting the material needed to help build the boot rack. Beaver Sports Shop also generously donated two ski racks to help with equipment storage. Thank you, Sue Volk, for organizing and labeling the new equipment – such a huge help.

As previously mentioned, the cross-country ski unit comes to a close with a two-day Ski-a-thon, which is the school’s biggest fundraiser. This year, the school-wide goal was 4,000 laps (.08 mile/lap); 4,404 laps were made around the track – over 350 miles! Students received authentic ski passes from Granby Ranch to be punched each time they went around the track.

For fundraising efforts, students were either pledged per lap by sponsors encouraging them to get as many laps as they could, or were given a flat donation.

Mila, a first grade student, takes a turn around the track.
Kaydee Jensen/Courtesy Photo

The student with the most laps in each grade was rewarded with the pleasure of sliming their favorite physical education teacher, Ms. Keller. Thank you to the parent teacher organization members Jamie Birch and Kaydee Jensen for putting together an incredible event. As well as a celebration for the students, one they are sure to look fondly back on. Thank you to Mountain Parks Electric, Inc. for your event sponsorship. Thank you Mountain Parks and National Sports Center for Disabled for donating buffs for each student.

“Mr. Wiggly Man” danced around greeting students to the track – thank you Holly Wood. To all the parents and caregivers that took their time to volunteer during three weeks of skiing outside and at the fourth annual Granby Elementary School’s Ski-a-Thon, we thank you.

To the best cheerleaders in Grand – thank you, Granby Elementary School’s Preschool and Granby Play Days Preschool for cheering on students in another wildly successful event.

Maggie Keller, shares straight from her heart that “the whole unit of study (and event) truly captures the spirit of our community, thank you.”

On behalf of the school and parent teacher organization, thank you Ms. Keller for your dedication to bringing quality programs to the school. We truly are GRAND!

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