Candy Bandt of Wautoma is ready for the 2nd Annual Color Dash on Sat., July 11, which will raise money for iPads for special needs students in Waushara County.
Bandt coordinated the event with the students in mind. She talked with teachers and learned about the need. “The schools don’t provide special needs students with iPads,” she said.
There is educational benefit to the devices, she said, noting the iPads can be used as a teaching tool. “Each individual is a different learner,” she said. “This helps the kids in how they are learning.”
She thought the fun concept of a Color Dash, where participants are doused in powdered colors, would attract people to raise money for a worthy cause. “It’s a fun walk, run, hop and skip event,” she said.
Bandt and her family primarily coordinate the event. “I have a pretty big family,” she said.
Volunteers help the day of the event. “It’s a lot of work but in the end it’s always worth it,” she said.
There are five different color stations where participants are covered in colored powder. At the end, there is a huge color explosion, said Bandt, noting that participants each receive a packet filled with color to throw up in the air. “It’s messy but it’s fun,” she said. “The fire department always helps us with cleaning at the end.”
Last year, the event raised enough money to purchase nine iPads as well as iTune cards for teachers to purchase apps for the devices. Fifty percent of every Color Dash ticket goes back into the community. Dashers around the globe have raised over $1,000,000 for local causes.
This year, ThedaCare, through the Berlin Community Health Action Team, provided sponsorship by donating $1,000 because the event supports efforts to address obesity. Bandt said the donation will be put toward advertising and purchasing supplies for the event. She appreciates ThedaCare’s support. “It was awesome. They recognize that education is important for all walks of life.”
She said the community has also been supportive with donations and more. “It’s a caring community,” she said.
Cheryl Belter, special education at the Parkside Middle School in Wautoma, enjoys helping the other special education teachers in the district select the students who will receive the iPads. “We have more of a background knowledge on which families are going to use it and not abuse it,” she said. “We did not pick favorites. It really did not come off that way at all. We felt we put the iPad in the hands of the kids that truly needed it.”
Belter plans to attend the event this year. “It brings people together as well as allows people to exercise and a reason to exercise and show good health,” she said.
Registration for the event can be done online at the Color Dash Web site: www.cd5k.com. Look for the Wautoma location. Or register starting at noon at the Waushara County Fairgrounds. Color Dash tickets range from $40 for an individual, $35 for a team of at least four and a variety of options for family members in the same household.
The race will start at 2 p.m. and the Color Explosion and a check presentation will be at 3 p.m. The family event will also include music, giveaways and vendors.
For more information, contact Candy Bandt at 920-765-0344.