WEIRTON - Bus after bus after bus off-loaded passengers Friday at Jimmy Carey Stadium, as approximately 2,200 students from Weirton-area public schools participated in the annual Hancock County Schools walk-a-thon to benefit the Weirton United Way fundraising campaign.
Students from Broadview Elementary School, Liberty Elementary School, Weirton Heights Elementary School, Weir Middle School and Weir High School participated in the fundraiser.
Andrea Dulaney, Broadview principal, was the walk-a-thon chair, and Diane Turani, elementary music teacher, was the co-chair.
"We are always very willing and love to cooperate with the United Way," said Suzan Smith, Hancock County Schools superintendent. "The kids have a great time, and it's a wonderful program. It helps raise our students' awareness of what the United Way does. We are very thankful to have such a beautiful day today, and the kids always have a great time year after year. We've been doing this for quite a few years and hope to continue to participate."
Kristin Bowman-Cross, Weirton United Way executive director, was on hand for the walk.
"They always do such a wonderful job," she said.
Many of those children who participate in the walk ask friends and family to pledge toward their participation, and the money raised goes to the United Way.
"This is a good indication of what we have to look forward to in the future of Weirton Elementary School," said Stephanie Brown, Liberty principal. "It's all for a good cause."
This is the last year Weirton-area elementary pupils will walk as separate schools.
The public schools walk was just one of several activities taking place during the past week to kick off the campaign. The organization's goal is to raise $260,000, which will fund 13 area organizations offering public services and charitable assistance in the Weirton area.
Don Gianni Jr. is the campaign chair, and Michael Hagg is the co-chair.
The Weirton United Way's member agencies are the American Red Cross; Boys and Girls Club of Weirton; C.H.A.N.G.E. Inc.; Community Bread Basket; Dunbar Recreation Center; Hancock, Brooke, Ohio Retired and Senior Volunteer Program; Girl Scouts Black Diamond Council; Hancock County Sheltered Workshop; Hancock County 4-H; Mary H. Weir Public Library; Salvation Army, Weirton Corps.; Weirton Christian Center; and Weirton Medical Center Foundation.
For information or to contribute to the campaign, call the United Way offices at (304) 748-7213.