JOHNSTON CITY, ILLINOIS (WSIL) -- You can enjoy some exercise while supporting students and teachers.
The Jefferson Elementary school is holding its annual 5K. This year, participants can take party virtually anytime during the month of April or compete in-person on May 8th.
In the past, funds have went to playground equipment, field trips and school supplies.
Teacher Tim Kee, who helped to start the 5K 10 years ago, say money from this race will help to fill the gap on unexpected expenses from COVID such as having to buy each student a chrome book for remote and hybrid learning.
"It's supplementing a lot of things that we've had to do that normally we don't have to worry about," he explains. "We've got to rethink things and redo things."
In addition, money raised will provide parties for good behavior and free ice cream on the last day of school.
The 5K also goes to supporting two local organizations that the school has chosen to help further their cause.
The first is Crittergal Rescue, which saves animals from being euthanized and finds loving homes for these pets all across Illinois.
Next is the Johnston City Manna Mission that acts as a thrift store and food pantry to residents in the community who need some extra help.
Kee believes giving back to the Manna Mission is full circle as the group always lends a hand to the school.
"We have a lot of students that don't have clothes,' he says. "Don't have food; don't have the basic necessities we need in life. Manna Mission has never let us down. Anytime that we need something, we'll call and they'll get it to us."
In addition to Crittergal and Manna Mission receiving a financial donation canned goods and pet supplies will also be collected during the May 8th race.
Kee adds this is only possible with the support of the community including race participants and sponsors.
"Its nice to invite the public to see what we do and get them involved in our school," he says. "Anytime that we can get outside support, we always welcome outside support."