Walkathon raises $25,000 for new MHS track

Many former track stars gathered, including Ginny Love, Gwen Mannell, coach Debbie Cook (organizer of the walk-a-thon), Kathy King and Vicky Tate. The two aforementioned were on the state championship mile relay team, to share stories and raise more than $25,000 for the new track.

Many former track stars gathered, including Ginny Love, Gwen Mannell, coach Debbie Cook (organizer of the walk-a-thon), Kathy King and Vicky Tate. The two aforementioned were on the state championship mile relay team, to share stories and raise more than $25,000 for the new track.

MEEKER I The “Save Our Track Walk-A-Thon, held July 5 in Meeker in an effort to raise funds to repair the running track at Meeker High School “Was very successful,” according to Meeker organizer Debbie Cook.

“This event is a perfect example of why I love our little town of Meeker,” Cook said. The event was attended by people young and old, consisting of coaches of all sports, high school alumni and school board and foundation members.
“I know this only raised a small portion of the money needed to save the track. However, it showed what a special town we live in and how positive, caring, and loving we can be even in hard times.”
The event raised more than $25,000 and the time spent exchanging track stories was priceless, Cook said.
The idea of raising money and awareness about the poor condition of the track came after Cook met with the Meeker Education Foundation and asked how she could help. Mary Strang and Jerry Oldland, former school board members who continue to volunteer hours of their time to help support students, gave her the thumbs up.

Leota Cook, at 90 years of life, was the oldest supporter on the track for the Save Our Track Walk-a-thon on July 5. She was sponsored by all 11 of her great-grandkids, including McKelivie Cook Lay, the youngest walker at just 1 year old.

Leota Cook, at 90 years of life, was the oldest supporter on the track for the Save Our Track Walk-a-thon on July 5. She was sponsored by all 11 of her great-grandkids, including McKelivie Cook Lay, the youngest walker at just 1 year old.

With the help of Meeker High School students Piper Haney, J.C. Henderson and Caleb Lange, Cook created a donation packet and collage of past state track champions.
“Then the calling and visiting past track stars and coaches began. Hearing the stories from these former athletes was my favorite part of the project,” Cook said.
Some special highlights of the event included Kathy King who traveled all the way from Alamosa to walk and hand deliver a check from her father, Bob King, who was responsible for building the first Tartan track in Meeker. (A Tartan track is a synthetic track surface.)
Ted Stewart led his extended family, walking and raising a huge amount of money from Meeker businesses. The Mortz family members, who lived in Meeker more than 30 years ago, contributed more than $1,000 because they have such fond memories of Meeker.
Vicky Tate, the Meeker Elementary School physical education teacher who just retired this year, also completed a Junior Walk-A-Thon on May 17, helping generate funds for the track.
Becky Hughes, a member of the Meeker Education Foundation who will be taking over as the physical education teacher in the fall, provided positive and encouraging support throughout the entire project.
Debbie Wix stated that a portion of the former swim team funds would be donated to the track project as it is something the entire community uses. She added that when we are able to host track meets again, it will generate money for the whole town.
Cook also thanked Watt’s Ranch Market for supplying the drinks, the Meeker Education Foundation members for supplying muffins, Ginny Love for supplying a tent and great support throughout the project, and the Range Call Committee for being gracious enough to include the Walk-A-Thon in the weekend events.

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