Walk-A-Thon themes unite students at Marian

By J1 Reporter Olivia Franklin

This year, Marian students raised more than $120,000 for tuition assistance during its annual Walk-A-Thon (WAT). One way Marian gets students excited for this fundraising effort is through the themes.

Every year, a new exciting theme is chosen that somehow reflects the walk. These themes make it more fun by helping get girls excited to finish the long walk. Once the walk has concluded, there are fun activities that correlate with the theme.

Every year the student board comes up with unique and fun activities to announce at WAT kickoff.

This year, Marian started off the 2022 school year with Splash WAT. At the end of the walk, there were water slides, dunk tanks, and other fun water-related activities. Students had the option to  donate money to dunk the teacher of their choice.

Mrs. Kris Hennings, Dean of Students, said, “Themes make it fun and give us purpose; it also helps bring everything together.” Themed t-shirts were not created until the early 2000s. This later became a tradition and a very important part of WAT. Wearing the same t-shirts, regardless of the graduation class or amount of money raised, shows how all the students came together to achieve a common goal.

Registrar Mrs. Donna Smith said, “The themes make it fun and into a group thing, not cliquey; somehow we’re all in uniform.” Competition is forgotten as the classes unite to achieve a common goal. 

Freshmen enjoy the Waterslide during Marians Splash WAT on Sept. 30. The students all came together after the long walk. Photo by Amelia Roth for Yearbook

In 2012, Student Board chose the theme Cake Walk. They chose this theme to show how the walk would be easy and fun.

In 2013, the chosen theme was Moonwalk. The moonwalk dance was trending and at its peak during this time. Students decided to apply this name to WAT too and give a fun vibe to the walk.

In 2014, students geared up for their long walk in their Boardwalk t-shirts. This was alluding to the popular game Monopoly. In Monopoly, players go around the board buying properties; this is like the students walking around the Benson neighborhood.

In 2015, students came together in their Walka Walka Walka, Pac Man t-shirts.

Students started off the 2016 school year with an Olympian WAT theme. Students channeled their inner Olympian with this theme.

In 2017, students participated in Color Walk, like color runs. As the students finished the walk, colored powder was thrown on them. If students raised a certain amount, they received color packets to throw on others, too!

Like this year, the theme in 2018 was Splash WAT. In 2019, the theme was Color WAT again.

In 2020, the theme was Bubble WAT. At the end of the long walk, students walked into bubble machines and had the chance to blow bubbles. In 2022, a theme was repeated, Splash WAT. Regardless of the theme, this is an opportunity to come together for a common goal, which is to ensure all students who want to attend Marian have the opportunity. 

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