APW first-graders join diabetes fight

First-grader Talen Vaikness of APW Elementary School gives Daniel Pone a high-five during the Tour de APW Elementary School celebration.
First-grader Talen Vaikness of APW Elementary School gives Daniel Pone a high-five during the Tour de APW Elementary School celebration.

“Together we can beat diabetes!”

Those are the words that Altmar-Parish-Williamstown Central School District Physical Therapist Daniel Pone said as he high-fived each first-grader in the district’s elementary school during a celebration to honor the students for their participation in a fundraiser for the American Diabetes Association.

Four weeks ago, Pone talked to the elementary school’s five first-grade classes about diabetes and the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise.

He also talked to students about his passion for cycling and his plan to ride in an upcoming event that raise money to support research to find a cure for diabetes.

Pone is part of a service-minded racing team known as Maxpower Cycling, the team rides with a mission to “race it forward.” Similar to the “pay it forward” mantra, the Maxpower team is committed to cycling with a purpose to help others.

Pone and the team will ride in the CNY Tour de Cure for the American Diabetes Association June 8 at Verona Beach State Park.

The students jumped at the opportunity to “pay-it-forward” and support Pone and his team in their mission to find a cure for diabetes.

They joined a “Dimes and Dollars for Diabetes” coin drive, with each class collecting spare change to make weekly contributions to Pone.

Pone rewarded the top donating class each Friday with an ice cream party.

The coin drive ended May 2 with a Tour de APW Elementary School celebration. Pone, on his bicycle, led the five first-grade classes for a lap around the school’s track to celebrate the more than $784 raised to support the American Diabetes Association.

Each first-grade student was rewarded with a popsicle during the culminating celebration and was presented with a certificate of appreciation for their support of “Dimes and Dollars for Diabetes.”

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