Garfield Elementary students exceed fundraising goal, rewarded with ‘hamster race’ rally

Garfield Elementary students push hamster balls containing staff members toward the finish line during a morning activity held on campus, Friday, Sept. 28, 2018. The students competed as part of two teams, team red and team blue. Representing the red team were Mr. Jonathan Slater; and students Max Thompson, Hailey Tower, Wyatt Harding and Chase Hutchings. Competing on the winning blue team were Mr. Michael Delgado; and students Aiden Ellis, Matty Weber and Michael Weber. DANIEL LEON/CLOVIS ROUNDUP

Garfield Elementary School rewarded its students for their fundraising efforts Friday with a morning rally featuring a hamster ball race between two staff members.

Assisted by the top student earners from each grade level, Guidance Instructional Specialist Jonathan Slater and Plant Supervisor Michael Delgado raced down an obstacle course in human-sized hamster balls as 700-plus students cheered them on. Slater represented the red team while Delgado suited up for the blue squad.

After being neck-and-neck the entire race, Delgado pulled away in the final seconds for the win.

“It was awesome, the kids did a great job,” Delgado said after crossing the finish line. “It was tiring, but it was really fun.”

Last Wednesday, Garfield’s student body raised over $30,000 during the Cub Color Run, the school’s annual fundraiser.

School principal Jennifer Bump wanted to make sure the students efforts didn’t go unnoticed.

“We wanted to do something fun that we knew the kids would enjoy as a way to say thank you,” she said.

The money raised during the jog-a-thon will go toward funding school programs, athletic uniforms, playground/sporting equipment, and student awards for academic, athletic and character achievements.

“It was just a way to celebrate for the whole school that we made our goal, and to thank them because with their contributions, we’re going to be able to buy a lot of good things for our kids,” added Bump.

Daniel Leon
A native of Woodlake, Daniel Leon is a recent graduate of Fresno State with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism. Daniel served as Sports Editor at The Collegian, Fresno State’s student-run newspaper, prior to joining the Roundup. Got a story idea? Email him at