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By Jocelyn Rowley

Sunset Middle gears up for Fall Crawl


September 27, 2018

Courtesy Photo

Sunset Middle students at the 2017 Fall Crawl, which raised money to purchase a new scoreboard, choir sound system, 3-D printer, and furniture for the special education class.

The annual Fall Crawl fundraiser hasn’t been a Sunset Middle School tradition for very long, but it has quickly become a favorite among parents and students alike. Last year’s event raised nearly $20,000 and helped the school purchase a new scoreboard, a sound system for the choir, and a 3-D printer. Now in its third year, the 2018 Fall Crawl is coming up on Friday, Oct. 5, and the Sunset Parents Advisory Council is inviting past and future students to come out and lend their support.

“All of our past fundraisers have been parent-driven,” PAC president Lydia Moy said. “We want this one to be a community-driven event. Niwot High kids who used to go to Sunset can look back and students at Burlington or Indian Peaks or Niwot Elementary can have something to look forward to. It’s nice to have that bond between the schools.”

Sunset’s Fall Crawl is similar to a Jog-A-Thon, and serves as its main fundraiser for the entire school year. Students walk or run laps for 25 minutes, and donors pledge to give a certain amount for every lap completed. They can also give a flat amount, such as $25 or $50, an increasingly popular choice. The PAC moved to this model in 2016 after several years of magazine sales, which is easier on organizers but more costly to operate.

“Half of that money actually goes to the magazine company and not directly to the school,” Moy said. “So we did a switch to the Fall Crawl, and that was a lot better. Yes, it’s a lot of work. But everyone can participate, not just those who can afford to buy the most magazines.”

Students are not only allowed, but are also encouraged to compete with their peers for the Fall Crawl. There are prizes for the three students who raise the most money, those who secure the most pledges, and the boy and girl who run the most laps.

Anyone who gets more than 10 pledges gets a chance to throw a pie at a staff member and 12 pledges gets them a chance to “tase” the school’s resource officer with silly string. Any student who raises more than $100 will be treated to a movie day, and the grade level with the highest share of participation will get a party. In case that wasn’t enough incentive, new Principal Anthony Barela has promised to shave his hair into a Mohawk if students meet or exceed the overall goal of $20,000.

“Anything for kids,” Barela said of his potential new hairstyle, which could prove a powerful inducement to middle schoolers. “We had an assembly Friday, and when we announced that I will get a Mohawk if they reach their goal, the kids cheered pretty loudly.”

Many of the prizes are provided by the event’s long list of local and regional sponsors, including Carls Jr., Rush Bowls, Get Air, Wild Game, Niwot Market, Virsage, and Nourish.

The PAC and Sunset administration have some ambitious plans for the proceeds from the 2018 Fall Crawl, including a new sound system for the band room. Barela would also like to fund a “design challenge” for students to showcase the skills they pick up in their semester-long design classes, a requirement all Sunset IB students.

The Fall Crawl kicks off a busy weekend for Sunset students and staff. On Monday, Barela and his staff host their annual open house, which Barela said will be another positive way for the community to connect with the middle school.

“It’s a great way to end on Friday,” Barela said, “and a great way to open up the doors for our prospective parents on the eighth so they can come and see the great culture and a lot of the wonderful programs that we have.”

The Sunset PAC is still seeking sponsors and donors for the 2018 Fall Crawl. The Parent’s Advisory Council of Sunset Middle School, Inc., is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, and all monetary donations are tax-deductible. Potential sponsors are invited to contact Lydia Moy, president of the PAC, at lvmanchild@aol.com. To donate online, visit the school website at sms.svvsd.org for instructions. Donations are also accepted in the Sunset office.


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