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Third graders participate in Harvest Hustle fundraiser

NASHUA – Thursday’s cold wind and drizzle did not dampen the spirits of hundreds of Charlotte Avenue Elementary School students who participated in the school’s inaugural Harvest Hustle Fundraiser.

The fundraiser, hosted by Charlotte Avenue Elementary School’s Parent Teacher Organization, was put in place this month to raise money for curriculum materials and educational purposes.

The students have been raising money since the beginning of the month by collecting from friends and family.

On Thursday, they were able to celebrate their efforts by running through obstacles set up across the school.

To complete the race, students were required to jump through hoops, slide down an inflatable house, walk like a crab, waddle across a balance beam, navigate through a string spider web and run around pumpkins.

Charlotte Avenue Parent Teacher Organization President Amy Rafalski said the organization has hosted a fun run for the students in years past.

“We want to put focus on something that’s fun and that’s healthy,” Rafalski said.

This year, the students and Parent Teacher Organization exceeded their fundraising goal and raised $20,000, which is four times as much as they raised last year.

“We’re excited for our focus now to be on community events, not raising money,” Rafalski said.

The Parent Teacher Organization also utilized an online fundraising platform, which Rafalski said has allowed them to reach a larger audience.

In addition, Rafalski said several businesses provide sponsorships, including Educational Success Tutoring Services and Sullivan Farm. The inflatable obstacle course also was sponsored.

Rafalski was grateful Thursday.

“The support from the staff and the camaraderie has been fantastic. I think that is why this and our other fun runs have been so successful,” Rafalski said.

Likewise, Charlotte Avenue Elementary School Principal Patricia Beaulieu expressed gratitude toward the school’s Parent Teacher Organization.

“Our (Parent Teacher Organization) really focuses on the kids. They did a great job raising funds,” Beaulieu said.

“They are so supportive, and that support shows if you look at the amount of parents who came to watch,” she added.

Beaulieu said the students will be continuing to raise money through Oct. 24.

Grace Pecci may be reached at 603-594-1243 or gpecci@nashuatelegraph.com.