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Rouses Point's K-Kids organize walk for Cystic Fibrosis

ROUSES POINT Last Thursday at 1 p.m. all of the Rouses Point Elementary students headed out the door towards the soccer field for a one-mile walk. They did so as part of their efforts to help the K-Kids raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. And that they did, according to the groups co-advisor, Susan Hutchinson; they managed to collect a total of $2,230. Each child, or family was asked to bring in a total of 72 quarters (over the course of about a month), which equals $18, in order to walk the mile, Hutchinson explained. And many of them brought in more, she said. It goes to show what a great community this is with such generosity. The K-Kids Club chose to raise money for cystic fibrosis because it is a disease they have come to know a lot about. Thomas Skinner, of the kindergarten class has it. He was born with it, said his mother Karen Castine as she walked with the group around the soccer field. It affects every cell in his body, but the major concern is the mucus build-up, which can end up causing lung disease. Castine went on to explain that the four-lap, one-mile walk was a spin-off from the recent Cystic Fibrosis Walk held in Plattsburgh. The goal for that event was to collect a miles worth of quarters, which equated to $15,000, according to Castine. The Rouses Point Elementary students had also participated in the WOKO Big Change Round Up, a recent fundraiser for the Vermont Childrens Hospital, where Castine must bring her young son at least twice annually for a two-week stay for intense antibiotic treatments. Castine said Thomas has a daily routine of home treatments, such as chest pounds and medications. He has to take pills because he cannot digest fats on his own, she explained. Other than that, hes pretty much like everyone else. Theres nothing he cant do. Walking with Castine were her mother-in-law, Judy, and a close friend, Tammy White, with her children, Miranda, Krista, Lauren, and her five-month-old son, Colton Castine. Castine said White had been a tremendous help. White said it was amazing that the K-Kids, their advisors and volunteers managed to pull the walk together in just a month. Thats great for a small elementary school to do this, said Judy Castine. Hutchinson, also a fourth-grade teacher at Rouses Point Elementary, said shed love for the walk to be an annual event, noting the K-Kids for their commitment to community service. Other activities theyve done include becoming mentors to the younger children, which included reading and making crafts with them around Valentines Day and Easter. Carolee Barber, a second K-Kids advisor and the schools guidance counselor, said they chose to have a walk because it went along with the importance of wellness in the fight against cystic fibrosis. They also served ice cold water and fresh grapes, oranges and apples following the walk. We really need to thank our school secretary, Judy Demers, and the rest of the staff for all the counting and preparations they helped with, said Barber. She also extended her gratitude to Price Chopper for donating the ice and to the parents for sending in the water and fruit for all to enjoy.

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