Williams Elementary needs community help to build track

Barbara Hootman

W.D. Williams Elementary is oh so closed to raising enough money to build its community wellness track.

A mere $3,500 - the price of a used car or powerful computer - is all that stands in the way of construction of a one-sixth mile track that could be used by anyone on weekends and after school hours. The school has raised $14,500 so far, principal Kimberly Ward said.

“We have been working on (this) for a long time,” Ward said. “We have raised $14,500 to date and the project will cost $18,000, leaving us short $3,500. We have had several walk-a-thons and numerous fundraisers. And several family and corporate donations have helped move us toward to our goal.”

The track will be used by students during recess, physical education class, YMCA Afterschool, Fit Girls (a school-sponsored program), YMCA’s Project RISE program, and the school’s Before School Fitness Club.

“Once installed, we will enhance the track’s effectiveness by adding fitness stations that will benefit not only the children of this community, but the families, neighbors, school officials and community leaders,” Ward said. “The sense of community also builds as children and parents develop walking buddies and chat with neighbors on the walking track. It will help us fight childhood obesity, improve health conditions and encourage family wellness.”

Retired teacher and substitute teacher Barbara Gaw taught at W.D. Williams Elementary for more than 20 years. She knows the value of an athletic track to students and faculty.

“It will take just 350 people giving $10 each to finish reaching our goal,” she said. “The track will circle the playground so the students will have a place to run, build healthier bodies, increase brain power, be smarter students and have more fun. Not only will students reap rewards from the track, but the teachers will have a place to release their stress. And the Swannanoa and Black Mountain communities will have access to it on the weekends, and during summer months.”

Those interested in donations may send contributions to W.D. Williams Elementary School, 161 Bee Tree Road, Swannanoa, NC 28778.

Send donations to W.D. Williams Elementary, 161 Bee Tree Road, Swannanoa, NC 28778.