Run is frightful but fun



November 1, 2010 - 12:00 AM

The Frightfully Fun Run got heartbeats racing Saturday night probably more from “scare stations” along the route than the exercise itself.
Kickoff for the 3K walk or 5K run was at the witching hour of midnight. The purpose of the event was to raise money for next spring’s after-prom party sponsored by the Iola High School junior class.
Parents provided the “entertainment” along the route.
Larry Toney positioned himself under the Coon Creek bridge on Cottonwood Street and when participants came by he leaped from cover.
“Larry said one woman was so frightened she cursed him a little,” said Deanne Burris, one of the organizers.
Farther down the course Mark Burris found a particularly dark spot along Jefferson Avenue, north of Lincoln Elementary School where a street light was on the fritz and barely aglow. He laid in a shallow camouflaged duck blind and popped up when racers came near. Burris was dressed in camouflage garb.
If that weren’t enough to pump up pulse rates, Robert Storrer dashed from the shadows and revved up a chainsaw. Then there was Lonnie Larson, in Batman costume with cape to unfurl, who flew from the other side of the street for another distraction.

“IT WAS just a wonderful event,” said Deanne Burris. “We had good weather, a big crowd, lots of help and I didn’t hear a complaint from anyone.”
About 30 parents were involved in preparations and execution of the event, including the scare stations.
Iola police officers were at critical intersections to control traffic and the city Street and Alley Department provided traffic cones topped with flashers to keep participants on course. The Rental Station loaned, free of charge, a large construction light tower that illuminated a pitch-dark portion of the course through Highland Cemetery.

“WE DON’T have a specific goal for fundraising for the after-prom party, but would like to have about $8,000 by the end of January,” Burris said. “We have about half that much so far.” Saturday night’s race netted $1,000 from entry fees from the 120 who ran and walked.
Money raised previously came from sale of funnel cakes and caramel apples at home football games and profits from sale of concessions at last summer’s regional swim meet in Riverside Park.
Burris hopes a raffle — $5 tickets are available from most parents of IHS juniors — will complete the fundraising. Prizes are a laptop computer and printer, flat screen television, meat bundle from Moran Locker and $200 in cash.
Parents aren’t certain yet what they’ll do to occupy IHS students at the after-prom party, a traditional that goes back many years and will run from prom’s end at midnight until about 3 a.m.
“We don’t yet have anything planned for the after-prom party,” Burris said. “We’d like to have the kids give us some ideas of what they’d like to do.”

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