4th Annual FUNd Run Scheduled for June 9th
Posted On:
Sunday, May 28, 2017
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At the recent school-wide meeting Mrs. Melissa Knowles, Veterans Park Principal, proudly announced that the 4th Annual Veterans Park FUNd Run is scheduled for Friday, June 9th.  She explained that the legacy of the FUNd Run is rooted in three words- charity, empathy and grit. “One of the important components of the PRIDE mission at Veterans Park School is to promote, develop and practice community and social awareness. This event originated in 2014 when a group of students approached me with an idea for an annual event that would raise funds to support a local family in need, or cause.”

This year the funds raised will be donated to the Darren FUNd.  This fund was established in 2007 by Anne Marie Corrieri, Instructional Technology Specialist for the Ludlow Public Schools and her husband, John Perrin, as a way to spread their son’s “How ‘bout be HAPPY!” attitude to others in the shared living model at Pathlight.  Over the years Darren’s FUNd has provided happiness in numerous ways that individuals would not otherwise be able to afford; from experiences of a lifetime such as a trip to Disney World to everyday experiences such as purchasing an iPad. The funds are used to provide access to activities that bring joy, adventure and fun to others.

Since Darren’s death in 2014 the FUNd has now taken on a different meaning, it is a way to keep Darren’s legacy alive. “We are very touched and honored that Veterans Park chose the Darren FUNd to be the benefactor of their amazing event this year,” shared Corrieri.  “It means the world to us that they will be helping to spread Darren’s happiness to others.”

Students and staff learned that Darren was all about making others happy and they were introduced to three people who they will benefit from their efforts.  Corrieri shared that Darren would do anything to put a smile on someone's face and was often heard telling others,"How 'bout be HAPPY!" As a way to honor Darren's signature saying, t-shirts (youth and adult) will be sold at the event for $10 and can be purchased online until May 31st, for pick up at Veterans Park on June 8th. 

On June 9th, the day of the event, Veterans Park students will be running and/or walking laps at the Ludlow High School track. Veterans Park students will secure donations from May 26th until June 7th.  All donation envelopes need to be returned to school on June 7th .

Knowles shared that all students who raise a minimum of $10.00 will be given a FUNd Run lanyard at the event. Students raising $50.00 or more will receive a “How ‘Bout Be Happy” t-shirt in honor of Darren and a chance to win the opportunity to pie the principal in the face. Students raising $100 or more will automatically be added to the list of participants to pie the principal in the face.

Additional awards will be given to the team that raises the most money, runs the most laps and has the most team spirit.  Individual awards will also be given to the student who completes the most number of laps and raises the most money.  LUSO Federal Credit Union will be sponsoring any child who “shares a smile” by bringing a family member to participate by donating $1 per student.

At the end of the fundraising kick off assembly all students recited the Darren Pledge (see video below). Students were also given "How 'bout be HAPPY" pencils from Darren's family, as a small thank you for dedicating this year's FUNd Run to benefit the fund that honors Darren.

Knowles wanted to extend a special thank you to LUSO Credit Union who has sponsored this event since it’s inception in 2014, stating, “They have been a generous and supportive partner since our very first FUNd Run.  We appreciate their ongoing assistance in helping to make this event more successful each year.”

If you would like to make a donation to this year’s FUNd Run event you can write a check made payable to Veterans Park FUNd Run with Darren Fund in the memo and either drop it off or send it to Veterans Park School, 486 Chapin Street, Ludlow, MA 01056- attention FUNd Run. All donations must be received on or before June 7, 2017.  Cash donations will also be accepted.  

 Students receiving their "How 'bout be HAPPY" pencils.

 This presentation introduced students to some of the people they will be helping.

 Students reciting the Darren Pledge.

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