TOTM Walk for Westview1
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One of the area’s longest-running elementary school fundraisers takes place Friday morning — and it will be easy to spot.

The 13th annual Walk For Westview will have some 450 kids hoofing around school and next-door St. Peter’s United Church of Christ in Champaign. It’s good exercise for a good cause.

“Grown-ups, too,” PTA organizer Amy Heggemeyer said. “We encourage parents (and) guardians to come and spend the time with their kids during the walk. It’s a fun time for everyone and a great community-builder.”

Each year’s walk has a theme. On Friday, it’s “Art Is Everywhere” — as seen on this year’s T-shirt design, above — and will allow the kids to hear from and see a number of groups, from ballet to hip hop.“We don’t want the kids sitting on their hands,” Principal Nick Swords said.

No worries there. Just the idea of getting out of class adds to the energy, Swords said.

Having “celebrities” like mayors and University of Illinois athletes walk alongside them helps, too. (State Sen. Scott Bennett, D-Champaign, will be there Friday.)

Students and their families have been gathering donations, “similar to a walkathon, only we don’t count laps,” Heggemeyer said. Money raised helps set the PTA budget and goes back to Westview for everything from field trips to new playground equipment to smartboards to even a rock-climbing wall.

“A pretty amazing day,” Swords said.

What’s cool at your school? Tell N-G Media’s Jim Rossow all about it at