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STURTEVANT — The REAL School students and staff got their cardio on for a good cause Tuesday morning during the 10th annual end-of-school 10k.

On the last day of classes each year, the students make an approximately 6-mile trek to raise money for a charity. This year, funds will go to the National Pancreatic Cancer Foundation, in honor of Diane Widmer, mother of REAL School sophomore Sarah Widmer.

Although the REAL School’s last day was Tuesday, many Racine Unified schools will mark the end of classes today with games and field days.

While other schools might spend their final day just passing time, the REAL School uses the day to make a difference, said Sarah Pina, the teacher who organizes the walk each year.

“I think it really leaves a good impression on the kids,” she said.

Altogether, REAL School students raised $2,500 to donate in honor of Diane Widmer, who was diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer a few months ago. Sarah Widmer, and her brother Jake, a 2011 REAL School graduate, participated in the walk on Tuesday.

“It’s amazing,” Sarah Widmer said. “I know we do it for a cause every year, I just didn’t think it would be for my mom.”

Pina said she was impressed with the way the other students supported Sarah Widmer and her family, even the ones that don’t know her personally.

“Our kids know she’s out there,” Pina said. “They’re all high-fiving her.”

Jake Widmer said he was thankful to everyone who raised money and participated in the walk, especially the seniors who returned to the school for the walk, even though they had already graduated.

Friendly competition

The fundraiser walk serves as a competition between the classes. This year’s winners were the sixth-grade students, who raised about $600.

This was the first year for the walk at the REAL School’s new location at 10116 Stellar Ave., Sturtevant. Students made their way in a loop around the school, along a trail that passed the Goodwill facilities and the Amtrak train station. Each student made six laps.

While Pina coordinated the fundraising portion of the event, gym teacher Mike Schmidt planned the route and water stations along the way.

“It’s amazing. I know we do it for a cause every year, I just didn’t think it would be for my mom.” Sarah Widmer,
REAL School student

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Caitlin Sievers covers cops, crime and the west-end communities. She's a lover of cats, dance and Harry Potter. Before moving to the Racine area she worked at small papers in Indiana, Illinois and Nebraska.

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