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Freedom Walk a success

Freedom Elementary principal Jeff Johnson (right) walks with dozens of community members during the school's first annual Freedom Walk on Thursday. Daniel Determan

Staff at Freedom Elementary School held the inaugural Freedom Walk, with assistance from the West Fargo VFW, on Thursday night outside the school.

“We decided that, being Freedom Elementary on Veterans’ Boulevard, we wanted to do something to honor the military,” said Freedom teacher Erin Petersen, who worked with counselor Jane Houdek in putting the event together.

Any funds raised from the event will be put toward snow removal for families of deployed soldiers, especially families with young children where the parent may not have time to shovel the driveway in the morning.

“We have families in our school whose husbands are deployed,” Petersen said. “We have seen the support they need while their spouses are away, so we put our heads together and have been working with the North Dakota National Guard Family Assistance Center to identify families in our area in need of some extra support.”

The long-term goal for the Freedom Elementary is to expand the Freedom Walk into the district and community, possibly turning the event into a 5k run/walk.

While the school did not do much advertising for the event, the sizeable crowd that was in attendance gives Petersen hope for expansion.

“We had absolutely no idea whether there would be 10 people here or 100,” Petersen said. “Just seeing anyone come out and support this cause means so much.”