Sea Dogs hit the slopes

Soda Creek Elementary School fundraiser earns $1,500


— Some campaign promises do come true.

Keegan Weekslynn, a fifth-grader at Soda Creek Elementary School, told his schoolmates in November that if they elected him president of student council, the school would have a skiing and snowboarding fundraiser in the winter.

Keegan won the election, and the fundraiser happened Sunday at Howelsen Hill in the first annual "Sea Dogs Ski-and-Ride-athon." Sea Dogs are the Soda Creek mascot.

Students skied and snowboarded for four hours on a snowy, chilly day to raise about $1,500 for the student council.

Keegan's mother, Aimee Weeks----lynn, said that although a specific use for the money hasn't been determined, ideas in----clude putting it toward the fifth grade's annual class gift to the school, Spirit Days, books, or toward a charitable donation that would help a girl in Africa attend a year of school near her home.

Aimee said she and Soda Creek first-grade teacher Tracy Bye, the student council's faculty sponsor, planned the fundraiser during the past two months. About 25 students participated by getting pledges from family, friends and neighbors for each hour they skied or snowboarded.

"We thought about doing it by lap, but we didn't want the kids feeling like they had to race," Aimee said. "And we didn't want them all to wind up in the Ski Patrol office."

The top student fundraisers earned donated prizes, such as horseback and dogsled rides, from area businesses, including Steamboat Lake Outfitters, Grizzle-T Dog & Sled Works, Amaze'n Steamboat and Snow Bowl. Aimee said the city of Steamboat Springs donated two children's 2006-07 season passes for Howelsen Hill, and the Steamboat Springs Health and Recreation Center donated waterslide and day passes.

"I had no idea how much work it would be," Aimee said about coordinating the fundraiser.

Neither did the students.

Fifth-grader Connor Mayo, 10, walked into the Howelsen Hill Lodge at about 1:30 p.m. Sunday with a tired look on his smiling face.

"How much time do we have left?" he asked Aimee. When she told him there was a half-hour left in the fundraiser, Connor caught his breath and said he was going back out.

"I've got to," he said.

KoE Chan, 5, made it through the four hours as well -- with some breaks.

"He's our youngest fund--raiser, and he's still plugging away," Aimee said about the kindergartener who skied under the watchful eye of his father, Tat Chan.

Keegan said he got the idea for the fundraiser from the annual Spirit Challenge at Steamboat Springs Middle School, a warm-weather event in which participants walk or run laps around the school's track.

"I wanted to do that, but in the winter," said Keegan, who raised $200.40 in pledges.

The 40 cents came from Keegan; the enterprising fifth-grader pledged 10 cents an hour.

-- To reach Mike Lawrence, call 871-4203

or e-mail


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