KAYSVILLE -- Students will have a safer walking route to Snow Horse Elementary School and Centennial Junior High in the near future because of a small group of dedicated mothers.
Seven women have worked relentlessly for nine months to raise $31,000 to fund half of the cost of installing a sidewalk so children can walk safely to school.
The curb, gutter and sidewalk improvements will soon be under construction along the west side of Angel Street between Ramola Street and the Angel Street Soccer Complex.
Many of the students surrounding Snow Horse are currently bused to school -- even though they live within walking distance. There are few safe walking routes because of narrow roads devoid of sidewalks.
The organizer of the fundraising effort, Sara Thatcher, informed the city council at a recent council meeting that her group had reached its goal.
"We had over 250 families who donated, along with (several) businesses. It's a neat place to live. I really appreciate it," she said.
In January, Thatcher and the city council reached an agreement to split the $62,192 cost of the requested improvements. The compromise seemed to fit the needs and financial restrictions of both sides.
"That's a pretty serious goal -- to go out and raise $31,000 for a sidewalk -- and here you are, and all the money is collected," Mayor Steve Hiatt told Thatcher at the meeting.
"I'm just thoroughly grateful and impressed for people that care so much to not only voice, but to actually take action. You and your entire group are, by far, in my view, a perfect example of what a great, active citizen can be," Hiatt said.
Thatcher said the group used many different forms of fundraising.
It began with a Fund-a-Foot campaign in February that asked families of students to donate $30 -- the approximate cost of one linear foot of concrete.
Thatcher said more than 250 families donated, as did teachers and administrators from both schools.
Kathleen Bagley, principal of Snow Horse Elementary, worked alongside Susan Last, a resource teacher, to knit scarves that were sold for $20 apiece.
Thatcher said their efforts resulted in about $1,000 for the sidewalk.
A carnival fundraiser was held in May, resulting in about $7,100. A local insurance company, Modern Woodmen, contributed to this total by matching $2,500 of the carnival's proceeds.
Thatcher recently secured significant donations from several local builders, which put the group up and over its goal.
Destination Homes, Henry Walker Homes, Perry homes, and Symphony Homes -- all of whom are home builders in west Kaysville -- also contributed to the sidewalk.
Thatcher said a total of 17 businesses donated to the cause.
She said the goal has actually been surpassed, as several home builders decided to give more.
"We're hoping to get some other things," she said, "like signage or a school zone sign."