Seahorse Challenge Raises Important Funds for Sanibel School

by SC Reporter Teresa Vazquez | photos by SC Assoc. Publisher Chuck Larsen

The Sanibel School PTA Seahorse Challenge Move-A-Thon came as a pandemic pivot to their customary Seahorse Festival.

“With this strange time, we couldn’t take a chance of not making the funds that we need to make [for the school],” Sanibel School PTA President Chris Demaras said. “So, we wanted to come up with something that was fun for the kids, something that they could do at home.”

Limited by pandemic restrictions, the PTA looked for a fun way to keep their most important fundraiser of the year alive. Demaras said they wanted to create something regular festival goers could enjoy safely.

The Move-A-Thon fundraiser took place April 12-26, raising money from $10 minimum pledges made by students, their families, and community members.

The challenge goal was to complete a pledge bingo card which included an assortment of fun activities for participants. Activities were divided into five categories and included: completing one lap in PE class, sharing a favorite recipe for the school cookbook, and learning a TikTok dance.

At the school, teachers and kids alike jumped into the challenge with excitement, Sanibel School Assistant Principal Jennifer Lusk said. Feelings of positivity were everything but scarce.

“It was neat to see my son come home and just be so excited because the classes are working together to meet these challenges and goals,” Lusk said.

The activities encouraged team building and brought up the school spirit that at times ran astray in the virtual world. Principal Jamie Reid said they worked with the PTA to create a challenge that appealed to both elementary and middle school students.

Throughout the year, the PTA has worked to help the school, students, and faculty in impressive ways—including the move-a-thon.

“I think this year they’ve just they’ve really done a great job of keeping our teacher morale up. This has been an incredibly hard year for our teachers to teach,” Reid said. “PTA has done some great jobs with giving us special lunches for our staff, making them truly feel appreciated.”

Through their fundraisers the PTA provides funding for teacher lunches, classroom supplies, and many other special projects. Generally, they contribute an estimated $22,000 to $26,000 of supplemental funding annually to the Sanibel School.

District funding is not quite enough for the school— due to the small number of students— thus PTA funding allows for greater opportunities for their students and teachers, Reid said.

“If there’s something that we don’t have or we can’t provide for our kiddos PTA has always been fabulous and jumps right in for anything that we request,” Lusk said.

At closing, the Seahorse Move-A-Thon Challenge raised $11,754, surpassing the $10,000 goal. Anyone wishing to contribute can still pledge at up until May 15.

If not, the PTA is always looking for active volunteers throughout the year. They do not have to have a student at the school to be a part of their FUNdraising group. If interested email

“We’re very fortunate that the Sanibel and Captiva community has been so eager to assist when they can. So, we just want to say thank you,” Lusk said. “It’s been truly a community effort to have such a successful school year, and we look forward to continuing that partnership again.”

Seahorse Challenge Awards & Prizes
(provided by Chris Demaras)
Seahorse Challenge Trophy will be awarded to Chris Erickson with a score of 92 (Mrs. Wappes). Runner up is : Max Brodeur (Mrs. Wappes) with a score of 75 (the student who completed the most squares on their Challenge Card).
$100 Visa gift card awarded for the highest number of pledges: TIE between Max Brodeur (Mrs. Wappes class) and Lucy Demaras (Ms. Peters class) Prize will be divided into two $50 visa gift cards
2 tickets on the Sanibel Thriller awarded for raising the highest dollar amount of pledges goes to Zoe Raffa Filkins (Mrs. Franke’s class)
Pizza Party: Winning Class is Mrs. Prescher’s class (most dollar amount of pledges earned)
NOTE: Mrs. Franke’s class was in the lead for the last week
Joey’s Custard gift card winners
(top student in each class – dollar amount earned – or top participation)
Mrs. Prescher’s class winner is Jordyn Bornhorst
Mrs. Wells class winner is Edward Wodjeski
Mrs. Wolf’s class winner is a tie between Grady and Turner Zimmerman
Mrs. Thompson’s class winner is Finley Hall
Mrs. Hall’s class winner is Ally Flnt
Mrs. Camputaro’s class winner is Ava Wodjeski
Mrs. Wappes class winner is Natalya Sampus
Mrs. Peters class winner is Lucy Demaras
Mrs. Franke’s class winner is Zoe Raffa Filkins
2 middle school participants / winners are Liam Nuckols (Dr. Bergamo’s mentor class) and Sammy Wells.
Special award for Most creative recipe called “Magic Wands” submitted by Cooper Dorning (Mrs. Prescher’s class).
Joey’s Custard gift card


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