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School Receives Grant To Build Track

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For a little over a year now, the Gayville-Volin School District has been raising funds to build a new track for their high school. Now, they’re one step closer to their goal thanks to a grant earned by the community.

In 2009, Gayville-Volin earned its first boys track and field championship since 1975. However, unlike other schools that hold that same title; they've never had an actual track of their own.

“We have a nice football facility, but we don’t have a track; so we had a group of boosters that said there’s a need there,” says Gayville-Volin Athletic Activities Director, Tom Rice.

While holding various fund-raisers on their own, the school began seeking outside help through grants.

They applied for a $25,000 grant through State Farm, competing with about 3,000 other schools across the country who were also seeking financial help for projects of their own.

Over time, the selection was narrowed down to 200 projects based on educational value, health and safety, and community involvement.

Pretty soon, Gayville-Volin was among the top 40 finalists. It was at that point that it came down to the people's vote. For three weeks, an online voting process through Facebook was held to determine the recipient.

“We were getting out on Facebook telling people, alumni, family, friends: You can vote up to ten times a day,” says Rice.

After receiving over 51,000 votes, Gayville-Volin became the lucky recipient of the grant thanks to community supporters both near and far.  

“We’ve been going at it for just over a year now and quite honestly; we’re looking at having an oval here around our football field by August,” says Rice.

It's a win for not only the school, but the entire community. While the track is not in use by the school, it will be open to the public for exercise and health programs in order to promote healthier lifestyles in the community.

While the seniors at Gayville-Volin may never have the opportunity to compete on the new track, they’re happy to be a part of something that will benefit their community for generations to come.

“I mean, it feels good to be a part of the people that get involved with track. As younger kids are coming out every year, they’re looking up to us. It’ll be something to look forward to,” says John Guy, a Senior at Gayville-Volin High School.

Though the project will begin construction in the upcoming months, there are still additional funds needed in order to complete and maintain the project.

If you would like to know more about how you can get involved, you can visit their Facebook page here or contact the school at (605) 267-4476.
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