Randolph students RESOLVE to do good things

May 22, 2019

RANDOLPH – Although the highly successful Randolph Elementary School Jump Rope for Heart may no longer exist, students have not given up their resolve to help others.

To answer that call a new group has formed for the purpose of doing good. RESOLVE (Randolph Elementary Students Offering Love & Volunteer Efforts) held its first assembly and presentation Friday afternoon in the high school gym.

Physical education teacher Holly Swanson, who helped to organize the fundraising effort, emceed the program

“I’m so very impressed with the job you’ve done,” Swanson said. “For 36 years our school has done the Jump Rope for Heart (raising nearly $260,000). I see students here whose parents were involved, so it is a long history of giving. That has evolved and there is no longer a Jump Rope for Heart, although the American Heart Association is still a very worthy cause to give to. Still, I saw this change as a way for us to think in a different way and to take a different path. We still resolve to help others but in a different way. We’ve now opened the doors to other avenues of giving.”

Students in kindergarten through grade five are involved. This year’s theme is fire relief with a goal of raising $6,000. When all was tallied, however, more than $9,000 was raised.

A total of 75 students volunteered, with top fundraisers including Joe Meyer — $510, Lexie Zemlo — $715 and Abigail Stiemsma — $1,200. As top fundraiser Stiemsma was honored with several prizes, including a ride on the Randolph fire truck to Denise’s Café for a lunch with teacher Kelsey Wall and firefighters Dan and Dustin Nieman.

Miss Gorr’s third grade class was the top fundraising group, and will receive an extra physical education class as a reward

“The No. 1 incentive, however, is to make a difference in our school, our community and the world around us,” said Swanson.

A total of $4,606 (50 percent) was donated to the Randolph Fire Department in honor of former principal Wayne Vanderploeg and his wife Linda. The couple has a personal connection to the cause as their home was destroyed by fire in November of last year. A plaque honoring their donation will hang on a school wall.

The Randolph Fire Department is using the funds to purchase a Jaws of Life unit which will help them save lives in emergency vehicle and other extrication.

A total of $2,303 (25 percent) will be donated to the national Fallen Firefighters Association, in memory of firefighter Cory Barr, who lost his life in an explosion that occurred in downtown Sun Prairie on July 10, 2018. His widow, Abby, was present to thank the students for the donation that will help the families of fallen firefighters across the United States.

The remaining 25 percent of the funds will go to the school Parent Teacher Organization, which coordinates the RESOLVE effort.

Swanson thanked all those who were involved in raising the funds, organizing fundraising events, award recipients and guests. The effort will continue next year, with fund recipients yet to be determined.

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