Preliminaries are underway for the annual Race for Education at Greencastle-Antrim elementary and primary schools.

PTO volunteers have spent the last week and a half folding, taping and placing address labels on 20,000 mailers that will go to the post office this week.

The Race for Education is the major PTO fundraiser and is held in lieu of things like candy, peanut or wrapping paper sales. The PTO still participates in activities like Labels for Education and MARTIN'S points.

"You don't have to go door-to-door," said Holly Kendall, Race for Education coordinator and PTO vice chair, while volunteer Laura Michalsky added, "And parents aren't buying things they don't want."

Parents supply addresses for family and friends for the mailers seeking donations for the Race for Education, which will take place on Friday, Oct. 18. Students will walk or jog around the track for an hour by grade — second and third grades, 8:45 a.m. to 9:45 a.m.; kindergarten and first grade, 9:45 to 10:45 a.m.; and fourth and fifth grades,10:45 to 11:45 a.m.

The goal is $85,000 by race day and if that goal is met, students will get to vote on silly dress-up options for their principals. The fundraiser has brought in more than $100,000 annually in the past few years.

"It's a fun morning event and the kids look forward to it," Kendall said. Each child will receive a mint green Race for Education T-shirt featuring orange lettering and the word "Empower," this year's district motto. They wear the T-shirts for field trips and other activities.

Unlike fundraising sales, where the PTO got a percentage, all of the money raised in the Race for Education is used for elementary and primary students.

Every field trip is funded by the Race for Education. Money also goes things like playground equipment, technology, classroom grants, Character Counts assemblies and author visits, as well as a fun fair in the spring celebrating all the good character building done during the year.

"The PTO helps out a much as it possibly can," Kendall said.

Elementary students can write their own messages for their mailers, but the primary ones all say:

"I'm going to run in our school's Race, to make it an even better place!

"I need your support, that's a fact; please sponsor me as I run the track."

There are several fun incentives for students and those who supply at least 20 labels will receive an orange wrist band to attend the Oct. 25 high school football game and be recognized on the field. Classrooms that average at least five labels per student get a dance party.

Youngsters also are eligible for prizes at a Race for Education assembly, including winning up to $100 in Pinko or a ski package from Whitetail Resort.

In addition to responses to the mailers, Race for Education has a number of corporate sponsors:

$500 — Manitowoc, WellSpan Health and Antrim Insurance

$300 — Koons Insurance, Synergy Ag Service, Pete and Jerry's Organics and Century Inc.

$200 — Antrim Way Honda, Elect IT Solutions, Lumber Direct, McCrea Heating and Air Conditioning, JD Law Company, Graphics Universal, Paci Chiropractic and Premier HVAC Services

4100 — Wertner Signs, Corning Credit Union, Vinnie's on 11 and B&B Grooming Center.

Donations to the Race for Education can be mailed to Race for Education, Greencastle-Antrim Elementary School, 500 E. Leitersburg St., Greencastle, PA 17225, with checks payable to GAES PTO.

Donations also can be made online via PayPal through the district's website:

www.gcasd.org