While dressed as a green gecko, Robert E. Willis Elementary School parent Michelle Nungesser danced and high-fived students as they walked or ran past during the school's annual walk-a-thon.
"I've always wanted to be a mascot, so it was the perfect opportunity," Nungesser said. "We just moved to Lakewood Ranch, and this school is so amazing."
Willis Elementary's walk-a-thon on Sept. 27 was a first for Nungesser and her fifth-grader, Ty. Students and their families made their way around a field in the back of the school as many times as they could in 30 minutes to raise money for the school.
"The walk-a-thon is the biggest fundraiser of the year," said Deb Hossenlopp, the PTO president. "It has allowed us to make a lot of meaningful purchases for the school in the past from educational materials to enhancing our technology to supporting staff development."