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Community works together to make Andover Elementary PTO event a success

a large group of people at Family Fun Night(10/5/23) Each year, the Andover Elementary School parent-teacher organization hosts a large community event that serves as its main fundraiser. Students seek donations and then walk laps around the school’s track. Families are encouraged to walk too.

There’s also a huge inflatable obstacle course, commemorative key chains with special paw charms to hand out, awards to be given, photos to be taken, in addition to music, food trucks and fun.

Three days before this year’s Walk-A-Thon and Family Fun Night, scheduled for Thursday, September 28, help was still needed. A LOT of help.

Kelli Anderson, the school’s volunteer service coordinator, put out a plea for volunteers as the annual event was in jeopardy. Without enough help, the event might have to be scaled down or cancelled.

Hockey players cheering on studentsThat’s when team members from the Minnesota Blue Ox Junior A’ hockey club out of Coon Rapids made a quick breakaway and came through in a pinch. Someone from the group heard about the shortage of volunteers and sent reinforcements. The hockey players didn’t just hang out in the neutral zone, they got right in on the action — filling open volunteer spots, passing out charms, and cheering students on as they crossed the finish line.

Members of the Andover Parent Teacher Community Organization (APTCO), and Anderson, couldn’t have been happier about ending the night with a man advantage.

"We were so thrilled to have the Blue Ox Hockey team join our fun night,” said Anderson. “They brought so much joy to this community, and they were a great group to work with. We hope to have them volunteer again at future events. Go Blue Ox!"

Thanks to the community support, the Walk-a-Thon raised almost $30,000 to help support and enhance the educational experiences of Andover Elementary students.