By ROSALIA RIPULLO     5/31/2023

Quarters, nickels, pennies or dimes? For Our Lady of Fatima Academy’s (OLF) recently held inaugural Nickel Run, nickels were the “pay” to go.

The Nickel Run is OLF’s version of the popular Jog-a-Thon, where students run laps on campus to raise funds for school projects.

OLF’s goal was to raise money for new physical education equipment – and have some fun doing it.

“Lynee’s number one objective was to have the students run in a fun event,” said school principal Brett Minter of his colleague, Lynee West, the school’s physical education teacher.

“We raised over $1000,” he added, “And that was all nickels!”

Over 20,000 nickels to be precise.

Minter and West had also decided to pay it forward and donate a portion of the proceeds to local organization Kids Around the World (KATW), which repurposes old playground equipment for other schools in need.

KATW has built 24 playgrounds this year alone, and overall, the organization has built over 1000 playgrounds in 64 countries.

The Nickel Run followed the school’s major fundraising gala and Golf Ball Drop held earlier this year.

Because of this, West wanted to make May’s Nickel Run more fun and lighter for the students, and not have them seek sponsors for the run. Instead, families contributed whatever amount they liked.

To carry the fun through the week, West weighed the class’s contributions and let them know who was winning during their morning assembly. The students placed their nickels in their respective grade’s buckets during the assembly.

This sparked excitement for students as they waited to see which class won by raising the most nickels.
“It doesn’t matter what place you get, it’s just fun,” said fourth-grader, Diem Vines.

“My favorite part is using nickels and the pizza party that first place gets,” said fourth-grade student, Captain Kendrick. “Even second place will have ice cream!”

With thousands of nickels raised and over 3100 laps completed, the event proved to be a big – and fun – success.

“I love the running and getting to be splashed in the face by the water jug, even if it gets in my nose,” laughed student Myla Corey, who is excited to do it again next year.