H.E.L.P. provided a grant to the Raleigh Hills school to provide a new running track. The following letter was sent to us:

H.E.L.P. recently awarded a $1,000 grant to Raleigh Hills School to help us install a new running track!  First of all, thank you to H.E.L.P. for its generous support.  Per the letter we received from Holly Earle-Shultze, I wanted to provide a brief explanation of how the funds will be used (see below).  I’ve also attached a picture of David Johnson, the franchise owner of our local Raleigh Hills Pizza Schmizza, awarding us the grant check!

Our track is used daily for recess and PE, as well as 2 times per week throughout the Spring for Panther Pacers. Panther Pacers is a running club, powered by volunteers, where students track their laps and earn charms for each mile completed. This amazingly popular program promotes good health and greater focus in the classroom and it gets the kids excited to get out there and run!!!  Each year the kids run, on average, 2,300 miles during Panther Pacers!!

The track is also integral to fundraising; revenue from our annual lap-a-thon comprises 40% of the PTO’s budget, which pays for curriculum support, student enrichment, and scholarships. For our neighbors, the track provides free access to sport and a quiet place to run, protected from traffic. It is regularly used by various groups and members of the surrounding community for athletic and social events.  The RHS track is a pillar of the community bringing people together while being active and having fun!  

The current condition of the track leaves it in urgent need of repair! The track has sunken below grade so that when it rains, multiple areas of the track become submerged, making it unusable. In addition, tree roots beneath the surface have broken through the asphalt in numerous places creating significant tripping hazards.

After consulting contractors and PTO members from schools that have done similar improvements, we determined that the existing track could not be repaired and needed to be replaced. The funds H.E.L.P. donated will go toward replacing the track.  This will involve excavating and removing the existing asphalt, raising the level of the track to allow proper water drainage, installing barriers to prevent root intrusion/cracking, replacing the asphalt and resurfacing with a standard, long-lived rubberized track system.

Again, thank you so much for supporting our RHS students, families and the surrounding Raleigh Hills community!!!


Kelly Peele