||Seventh and eighth grade students from Our Lady Queen of Peace School in Madison run with their 4K and 5K "faith buddies" during a recent fundraising fun run/walk at school. To view or purchase photos, go to madisoncatholicherald.smugmug.com (Catholic Herald photo/Kevin Wondrash)
MADISON -- Students at Our Lady Queen of Peace School in Madison recently had a chance to better themselves and help others at the same time.
A rainy April 28 was the day of the school's second annual School Community Fun Run/Walk.
Students get pledges and raise money based on the number of laps they complete.
The money raised will go to the school, area charities, and wellness initiatives.
The run/walk was also part of the school's annual Wellness Week. During this week, the students take part in many different activities to promote healthy living and eating.
Running with 'buddies'
The run/walk was scheduled to take place outside, near the school, but the day's rain meant moving the fun inside.
That didn't dampen the students' excitement to get moving to help others.
"Even though it takes work on our behalf, it's good for our bodies and our minds and it's helping other people as well," said eighth grader Regan Virnoche.
Before the run/walk, the seventh and eighth graders got in some extra running with their "faith buddies" from the 4K and 5K classes.
The older and younger faith buddies do activities together during the school year, including attending Mass together.
"They're so interested in everything and we get to explain the parts of Mass to them so it's pretty cool," said eighth grader Sarah Meyer.
Walking with a purpose
Following the faith buddies run/walk in the gym, the whole school gathered for a prayer service in the church.
"I'm very proud of you because this is a good cause," said Pastor Msgr. Ken Fiedler. "That's what we are as followers of Christ, we help other people out."
During the prayer service, the students asked for the intercession of St. Sebastian (patron of athletics), St. Thomas Aquinas (patron of students), and others for a successful run/walk.
Following the prayer service, the students took their positions in the gym to partake in the run/walk's alternate route through the hallways of the school, the auditorium, the narthex of the church, and back to the gym.
Teachers and parent volunteers were on hand to mark their student-designed T-shirts -- with numbers on the back -- with the amount of laps they completed.
Parents and staff also helped cheer the students on as the number of laps grew, and hallway stairs began to be a challenge.
Fifth grader Patrick Williams said, for him, the run/walk meant "to get exercise because that's important with wellness, but it's also part to raise money for charities."
After running and walking for an hour, the students were dismissed to the cafeteria where they replenished themselves with fruit and bagels.
"It feels good because you're helping out and when you go to bed at night, you know that you did something good today," said fifth grader Maddie Klubertanz.