Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

September 24, 2013

Batesville K12 benefits students

Debbie Blank The Herald-Tribune
The Batesville Herald-Tribune

---- — Downtown will be teeming with athletes in a few weeks. The first Batesville K12, a 12K race organized by the Batesville Community Education Foundation, is Saturday, Oct. 12, at 9 a.m.

Since 7.5 miles is a long run, a 12K relay will be offered at the same time. Four team members each will complete a 3K loop that starts and ends at Batesville Shopping Village near the George-Main streets intersection.

BCEF administrator Kelly Poltrack believes the event will appeal to athletes of varying abilities. “We have the 12K for serious runners like those training for a half marathon. The relay portion is only a little less than two miles, so it is a good distance for even a beginning runner. Additionally, if you don’t like to run, you can walk the race.”

The entry fee is $25 before Oct. 5 and $30 after. Relay team rates are $40 and $45, respectively.

The race is being chip-timed by local experts Stuart Road Racing and the individual 12K runners will go off in front of the relays. The last leg of the relay will finish with the 12K, but the transition area will not be part of the full 12K route.

A freewill donation, carb-loading pasta dinner takes place the night before, Friday, Oct. 11, from 5-7 p.m. at the Batesville Intermediate School cafeteria. She suggests, “Go to the homecoming parade, then let BIS principal Dr. Schoettmer cook for you before heading over to the football game! You do not have to be running in the race to go to the pasta dinner. We will have pasta, salad, garlic bread and cookies. It is a great opportunity to register early and carb-load.” Dinner RSVPs are appreciated: 812-216-8137.

Dr. Jim Roberts, Batesville Community School Corp. superintendent, says, “The purpose of the Batesville K12 race is twofold: We wish to raise funds in order to continue to support academics, athletics and the arts for Batesville students; and we wish to have a community-minded event that brings people to downtown Batesville. The existence of the farmers’ market and presence of other vendors should make the downtown square feel like a festival atmosphere that will be fun for all ages.”

According to Poltrack, “We are hoping to have a good turnout ... because we feel there is a direct correlation between a strong community and strong schools. We wanted to have an event that raised money for the schools, but was low enough in cost that everyone could take part. The relay is only $10 a person” and includes a T-shirt designed by BHS graduate Claire Heppner.

She reports, “We get many requests from teachers asking for funds for great projects. Each time I read one I think, ‘What a great project. I hope we can fund that.’ With the growth in BCEF, teachers are starting to see what kinds of projects we are funding and the number of requests is going up. In order to be able to continue to fund them, we need help from the community.”

Has Poltrack seen much competitive spirit between various groups? She answers, “Batesville Middle School has really risen to the challenge early. They have an impressive team of teachers that has challenged the other schools and the community to come up with a team to beat them. We would like to challenge the businesses in town to see if they can beat our BMS teachers.

“In addition to their teachers, the eighth-grade girls’ basketball team was the first to step up and challenge the other teams. High school teams like swimming, basketball and wrestling are looking at making teams as well.” The administrator points out, “You don’t have to be a sports team to participate. We have groups of friends doing it. I have had families ask about having a family team. We would love to get some alumni out since it is homecoming weekend and see which class can get the most teams together as well as who is the fastest.”

Persons do not have to jog or stroll to honor a school family member. A favorite teacher, administrator, staff member or coach may be complimented with a donation of at least $10. Honorees will be recognized along the route and donations will go to the BCEF teachers’ fund.

Poltrack observes, “We really encourage the town to get behind this effort. Although this is a chance to raise money for a good cause, it is perhaps, even more importantly, a chance to show our staff members how much we appreciate their efforts. We have invited our Girls on the Run members from neighboring towns to come run as well and we will be happy to recognize their favorite teachers or staff members, too.”

In addition to honoring employees by contributing money, “if someone would like to make a donation to BCEF and have it go to a specific group or area, we can do that,” Poltrack says.

Race sponsors are very important and more are sought. “That is where we really make money to both put on the event and be able to grant those teacher requests. We have given to wide range of activities and projects from a garden to robotics and from the band director to the library.”

In addition to cash donations, sponsors are donating needed supplies: Children’s Health Care, water and Gatorade; Fresh & Lite Smoothie Cafe, bananas and smoothie samples; and Batesville Farmers’ Market, apples.

Community groups and individuals will be involved as well. Southeastern Indiana YMCA “has been very active and helpful in our planning,” she reports. Help is needed with registration, passing out water, in the transition area and at the finish line. “If you have a group that would like to perform or cheer along the race route, let us know. We plan to have runners vote for their favorite entertainment/cheering groups along the way and give that group a prize.”

The booths area is shaping up. Parent-teacher organizations at the primary and intermediate schools will sell tickets to an Indiana Pacers game at a reduced price with a portion of the proceeds going to the schools. The Pacers are sending their Fan Van that morning, which “should be a lot of fun for the kids! They have a prize wheel that you can spin to win Pacers tickets and a basketball hoop that folds down from the van.” Representatives of the YMCA, Arbonne protein bars and Avon products will man other booths. The dance team may even offer pony rides, according to the administrator.

“We are definitely looking for more booths .... We are offering these tables free of charge to show our thanks for everything the community does for the schools.”

Organizers are hopeful this will become another Batesville tradition. Poltrack says, “We would like everyone to come out and join in the fun. We are showcasing as many different school groups as we can from the Friday night pasta dinner, to the booths, to decorations, entertainment and, of course, runners. Get your teams together and come out to support the schools.”

Debbie Blank can be contacted at debbie.blank@batesvilleheraldtribune.com or 812-934-4343, Ext. 113.

Details • In addition to Poltrack and Roberts, the Batesville K12 committee is comprised of chair Jeremy Raver, Jeff Hartz, Jenni Garrett, Andy Allen and Angie Johnson. • Anyone who would like information on being a sponsor or volunteer or having a booth may contact Kelly Poltrack at kpoltrack@batesville.k12.in.us or 812-216-8137. • Race routes, registration and sponsor forms, how to contribute dollars to honor an employee and volunteer opportunities (commitment by Sept. 28) can be viewed at the BCEF Web site, http://batesvilleeducationfoundation.org. Persons also can register online at www.Stuartroadracing.com.