Ted Pappas is running—figuratively and literally—a not-so-ordinary fundraiser for .
He's jogging to and from work, every single day.
Help Ted Run! is a fundraiser for Stripling's Project Playground, an initiative to purchase new playground and P.E. equipment for the elementary school. Ted Pappas, the vice president of professional services at Corus360 in Peachtree Corners, started the project Feb. 1.
The project is sponsored by Corus360 Cares, the company's team for fundraisers and helping the community, and The GA Compassion Project.
“He wanted to do something extraordinary, and he’s getting the community to focus on a need,” said Stripling Principal Priscilla McHam.
Running from his home in Johns Creek to the 130 Technology Parkway office, Pappas runs about 12 miles every work day through Highway 141. Luckily, he's no stranger to running: He's an avid ultramarathon runner, which is anything more than 26.2 miles.
"It’s actually been a little refreshing because it takes me 35 minutes to get there by car, and 45 minutes to run home," said Pappas. "It’s been kind of cool to run up and down the road and look up at people’s faces in the car. I wonder everyday what these people think about me because I run home just as fast as they drive home."
Even though he's the frontrunner (no pun intended) to the project, he wanted to make sure that it's not all about him.
"I just happen to be the vehicle that drives the bus," Pappas said. "At the end of the day, our hearts and our minds are in one thing, and that’s making sure we can at least assist in providing a safe environment where the kids can play."
The fundraiser was originally planned to last just for the month of February, but Pappas has decided to extend it another month. He's doing a 100-mile ultramarathon March 31, which he hopes to complete in merely 24 hours.
The fundraiser has raised at least $1,200 so far, but its goal is to reach at least $5,000.
This isn't the first time Corus360 has helped the school, either. The company, along with The GA Compassion Project, also had its Warm Hearts, Warm Hands drive last year that involved donating a scarf, a hat and a pair of gloves to every student in the school. Additionally, the technology consulting and solutions company helped the school purchase 24 acoustic guitars for its guitar club.
"I just appreciate them having an interest in our school. This is a company that didn’t just do one initiative; they’ve maintained this relationship this year, and to me, that shows true commitment," McHam said.
Stripling is very involved in Help Ted Run!, too. In addition to some of the parents and staff donating, the school has a "Ted Wall," filled with cards, a banner, and a track of his miles and donations.
McHam said Project Playground has been an intiative at the school for two years. Even though the school currently has a playground, she believes it can always be improved. Shade structures, swings, seating areas and benches are at the top of list, with shade being the top priority.
"It doesn't sound like a whole lot, but trust me, it adds up," McHam said. She explained that the school was able to add one shade structure in the last two years when the parents, local school council and community pitched in, and it cost $5,000 for just the one structure.
There's also an outdoor class that she hopes to renovate since it hasn't really been maintained over the years.
Because February's been warmer than usual, running hasn't been the hardest part for Pappas. According to him, it's been harder transitioning his morning routine from home to work. Corus360 has a shower at its facility, but Pappas explained that he has to bring a week's worth of clothes into work every Monday, and driving that bag back and forth is a bit of a strain.
Regardless, Pappas and Corus360 are more than happy to help out Stripling.
"It's a couple of miles down the road, and it's a school that's part of the community here," said Allison Rickards, the director of marketing at Corus360. "We've basically adopted the school."