By TAYLOR HARTZ
The Fox-a-thon at Plantsville Elementary School (PES) was an event for the kids and by the kids. The afternoon dance marathon on Feb. 19 was planned by fifth graders at the elementary school, modeled after the University of Connecticut’s (UConn) annual HuskyTHON.
For the sixth year in a row, PES students danced for hours in the school gym to benefit patients at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center (CCMC.)
As they danced, students wore hand made t-shirts with “FTK” written on them, standing for “For The Kids,” the HuskyTHON motto.
For months in advance, students fundraised for CCMC, and this year they beat their previous record.
The grand total this year was $4,819.16, surpassing their goal by more than $1,000.
The day before the UConn HuskyTHON, UConn students spent their afternoon with the Plantsville fundraisers.
In his third year on the HuskyTHON management team, UConn senior Jamie Buck said he has loved spreading the college tradition to younger generations.
“It’s such a great part of the UConn community,” said Buck, “Breeding that culture young is so great.”
This year’s HuskyTHON was held in Storrs on Feb. 20, where students raised $716,394. 58 for CCMC patients and their families.
Scott Organek, Director of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, said events like these teach kids how to give back to their community.
The director said all funds raised go to the area of most need at the time when the funding comes in, and can help with medical needs, patient care, or specialty programs at the hospital.
Last year, PES raised $3,000, and set a goal of $3,800 this year.
“It just keeps climbing every year,” said Chavez, who helped start the Fox-a-thon six-years ago.
This year, a Southington boy was honored as the event’s “Miracle Child.”
Gavin Haines, 10, spent the afternoon dancing with his peers and was recognized on stage during the fundraiser. Haines has been treated at CCMC for Dravet syndrome and cortical dysplasia since he was six-months-old.
“It means so much to him,” said Gavin’s mother, Stacey, who homeschools her son.
“It helps his confidence level to see kids his age care so much,” said Haines, “He’ll be talking about this for weeks.”
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Taylor Hartz, email her at THartz@SouthingtonObserver.com.