Community proves it’s one ‘Tough Mother’ |

Community proves it’s one ‘Tough Mother’

by Leslie Pearson

Wearing a T-shirt splattered with powdered chalk every color of the rainbow was a badge of honor for runners in Saturday's inaugural Tough Mother event at Pau-Wa-Lu Middle School.

The Parent Teacher Organization and Pau-Wa-Lu's leadership class hosted a 5K run that included an obstacle course and a shower of powdered chalk at the finish line.

Nichelle Zivkovic, PTO volunteer, said over 125 participants bought tickets for the event and came from as far as Coleville.

This is the first year the PTO has been active at the middle school and they plan on continuing the event, Theresa Duffy, PTO volunteer, said.

"We wanted to do something toward the end of the year to raise money for the school and we wanted to include the school and community," Duffy said.

The event was a takeoff of Tough Mudder, a military-style obstacle course that is becoming a trend in place of typical sporting events like marathons.

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The event had obstacle courses called Kiss Your Icy Mother, Dirty Ballerina and Crawl or Die, Zivkovic said.

Kiss Your Icy Mother involved a slip and slide and was indeed icy with Saturday's breeze and cooler temperatures.

Gwen Niccoli, parent of seventh-grade son, Sloane, ran the 5K run and spoke to The Record-Courier with sunglasses covered in green and blue powder.

"I came to run and to volunteer," she said. "It was an awesome day and the obstacles were really fun. It's a successful event."

The leadership class held a carnival for participants to try their hand at ring toss, sponge toss or Frisbee toss.

Ninth-grade student Jerry Jackson hosted the sponge toss table.

The game lets carnival goers throw soggy sponges at students's faces. If they hit their fellow student in the face, they get a prize.

"I don't know how to explain it," Jackson said. "The kids weren't gentle, but I'm willing to do it for the cause."

Leadership student Rebekah Swearingen hosted the ring toss table in a pink tutu.

The seventh-grade student said that she enjoyed the run and the games.

"The run was really good," she said. "Seeing all the kids smile really made my day."

Mixing fun and fundraising for the school was a good idea, she said.

"It's really fun because you get the fun part, but it helps the school," Swearingen said.

Funds raised were not available at press time.

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