On Saturday, October 2, 2009, 51 students from the Carden Traditional School of Surprise generated over $1,500 during a fundraising play-a-thon to benefit Right To Play. The school is located in Surprise, AZ, roughly twenty miles northwest of downtown Phoenix.
The event "was a huge success…everything worked out better than I could have imagined. I am very proud of all those who participated and played an active role in raising awareness for Right to Play's cause" said Kristen Bowness, the Physical Education & Health PreK-8 teacher at Carden and primary organizer for the event.
Businesses from the community joined the school in the play-a-thon. The Nestle USA distribution facility in Surprise donated water bottles for the students, Fry's groceries, Papa John's and Barro's pizza made food donations, and First Bank in Surprise agreed to match $500 of the student's donations.
The play-a-thon helped the 6th, 7th, and 8th graders who participated fulfill their community service requirements as part of the International Baccalaureate (IB) program. Carden is the only charter school in Arizona currently offering the Middle Years IB program.
Earlier in the week, Athlete Ambassador and Olympic silver medalist Michelle Guerette(rowing) participated in conference call with some of the participating students. After brief remarks, Guerette answered questions from the students about her experience volunteering at Right To Play programs in Jordan and encouraged the students in their efforts.
"We were so excited that Michelle could talk to the students. She really helped them understand the 'bigger picture' about Right To Play and got them even more excited for the play-a-thon," said Leah Bowers, IBMYP/K-8 Gifted Coordinator at the school.
"We are honored that Ms. Bowness reached out to us and are grateful for the great efforts made by the students, the school, and the community. These funds will definitely make an impact," said Mario Argote, Right To Play USA Deputy Director.