By AMY WENGER
It’s been five years since the staff and students of Wakarusa Elementary lost a beloved member of the school family.
Diane Brown, the longtime school nurse and dedicated community activist, died Oct. 3, 2008, after a lengthy ordeal fighting breast cancer.
True to the promise to keep Brown’s spirit alive within the hearts and minds of the Wa-Nee community, there will be a “Go Pink 4 Brown” family walk on the grounds of Wakarusa Elementary Thursday afternoon. The event is being held in conjunction with the school’s open house, book fair and winter gear exchange, which are all taking place on the same evening.
Thursday is also a time when students are asked to wear pink and brown colors to school for the day.
Those who wish to participate in the walk can gather at the start of the school’s walking trail by 5:30 p.m. and make preparations for the 1-mile trek. All children will receive a special memory sticker, and all students in kindergarten through fifth grade will earn a pink ribbon charm upon completion of their walk. The first person to arrive will be given a pink ribbon wristband.
There is no fee to participate in the walk.
Jamye Richmond, Brown’s daughter and owner of Hot Headz Salon in Wakarusa, will be providing pink hair extensions for $10. All of the proceeds from the sale of the pink hair accessories will go into an account in honor of Brown. The funds will then be used to financially assist families in need throughout the community during the course of the school year.
In the event of rain, the walk will be canceled, but Richmond will still be situated inside the school, just beyond the front entrance. The walk is anticipated to end at approximately 6:30 p.m.
The book fair will take place from 6 to 8 p.m., also inside the school. There will also be a lollipop sale taking place to benefit Simon Blanchard, a first-grade student who has been battling leukemia since last November. In the fourth-grade pod area, several fourth-grade students will be selling bottled water and popcorn to assist them with a mini economy project.
In the school gym, winter apparel can be donated for the Recycle Winter Gear program, while others can browse through the offerings to find items that their chidren will need to be appropriately dressed for the coming winter. That program will be ongoing from 6 to 8 p.m.
The schoolwide open house will begin at 6:30 p.m. and conclude at 7:30 p.m. The open house presents an opportunity for parents to visit their children’s classrooms and sign up for parent-teacher conferences.
For more information on any of these programs, contact the school at 574- 862-2000.