On April 6th the Backpack Buddies program will be hosting a walk-a-thon in the Griffon Indoor Sports Complex. Registration will take place on the same day at 9:30 a.m. and the actual one-mile walk will take place from 10 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. The purpose of the event is to donate money for kids in the St. Joseph School District.
Mallorie Nighthart is a student at Western and she volunteered to help out with the event.
“It is a fundraising event for the Backpack Buddies program,” Nighthart said. “It’s a program for children from K-12. You go individually or you can have teams. You just walk a mile and whatever donations are given is how the walk-a-thon makes the money.”
Every walker that donates at least $5 will then receive an armband. The team to donate the most money will receive a free dinner for five from either Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, or Dunkin’ Donuts.
“This event will fund children in St. Joseph,” Nighthart said. “And it is for the St. Joseph School District only.”
Nighthart is a Public Relations major and she said she got involved with the program through a class. She noted that that she expects it to be a fairly decent turnout at the event and hopes that a lot of money will be raised to help benefit children in the St. Joseph school district.
“I think that 300 attendees would be quite an accomplishment,” Nighthart said. “However, the objective and the amount of money that we want to make is only $5,000 and if we divided that with $150, it would allow us to sponsor 33 kids a school year.”
It will cost $150 to sponsor a child in the program and Nighthart is hoping that they can raise more money so they will be able to sponsor a bigger amount of students each school year.
Kelsey Corzine is a teacher in the St. Joseph School District and also a former Griffon. She sees the program as a way for Western students to ensure that students in the Backpack Buddies program are given the daily nutrition needed for kids their age.
“I think that it would be great for Missouri Western students to help with Backpack Buddies,” Corzine said. “I teach in the St. Joe School District, and many of our students depend on the food they get from Backpack Buddies as their main source of nutrition outside of school. The more people that take an interest in this cause and can lend a helping hand, the better it will be for the kids. I think it is more elementary kids that are impacted by Backpack Buddies though.”
Western student Kathie Marquart’s opinion was similar to Corzine’s. Marquart understands and remembers how students are made fun of when they are not able to pay for something at school.
“I support it,” Marquart said. “I think it’s a great way to make sure a child gets to eat lunch and can prevent the future teasing because of not being able to pay for a lunch.”