By Joe Smillie
Peninsula Daily News
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“I can't believe I raised $500,” Gwendolyn Frick, fourth-grade winner, said while taking a nibble out of a post-lunch sopaipilla at El Cazador, 531 W. Washington St.
Students whipped up sponsorship pledges from friends, family and neighbors before running for 20 minutes around the school's track last fall.
Seven students — all top fundraisers from each grade level — earned a ride in a limousine provided by 7 Cedars Casino for a special lunch at El Cazador with Principal Donna Hudson.
Each student also was allowed to bring a friend, though the friends rode in a separate shuttle van, also provided by 7 Cedars.
After lunch under the city's iconic grain elevator, the students piled back into the mirrored-ceiling, disco-lit limo, which came out with car seats for the younger set, to feast on cupcakes at It Takes the Cake downtown.
“I can't wait to get at that cupcake,” kindergarten winner Jack Crecelius said as he drank a second cup of El Cazador Sprite.
In total, the students raised nearly $9,000, said Jennifer Economy, PTA treasurer.
Erin Green, vice president in charge of fundraising for the PTA, said the organization will use the money to help teachers in need buy supplies for their classrooms.
The top fundraisers were Cole Tate, morning kindergarten; Jack Crecelius, afternoon kindergarten; Keenan Green, first grade; Aidan Lara, second grade; Lilly Janis, third grade; Gwendolyn Frick, fourth grade; and six-time winner Kaylee Dunlap, fifth grade.
Renee Mullikin's second-grade class was the top overall fundraiser, earning $1,249.50 for the students' collective jogging efforts.
Mullikin's class won a movie and cupcake party for the top money-raising class in the kindergarten-to-second-grade wing.
Teresa Iversen's fifth-grade class won a swimming and pizza party at the Sequim Aquatic Recreation Center for being the top earners in the third-through-fifth-grade wing.
Every student who participated in the jog-a-thon received a free T-shirt.
Corporate sponsors contributed more than $1,750 for the jog-a-thon. They were Ink Flow, El Cazador, Sound Community Bank, 7 Cedars Casino, Emerald State Environmental and A-M Systems.
Reporter Joe Smillie can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5056.