A calm, sunny environment encompassed the exterior of Alexandria Area High School Friday morning, June 7th. It was the perfect weather to break a sweat for a good cause, and the Lakes Area community showed up in full force to accomplish that goal!

This marked the first ever United Way of Douglas & Pope County Bus Pull - a fundraising event to 'pull' Alexandria & the surrounding communities together - and, based on the turnout, there's major potential this exciting gathering could return again next year.

Executive Director Jen Jabas and a few members of the UWDP team were on site facilitating the competition, with help from Rick Sansted (Asst. Superintendent of teaching & learning at AAHS) as acting emcee. However, both would like to pay special recognition to the Alexandria Area High School transportation team for providing a bus for the event as well as assisting with everything from set-up to tear-down; the Bus Pull wouldn't have been possible without their tremendous efforts.

So wonderful to see so many members of the Lakes Area educational system joining forces to support all those participating. For the entrance into this event, the seven teams taking part in the Bus Pull gave it their all to haul an AAHS school bus across a small stretch in the faculty parking lot - no small feat, but every group held their own and marched across the finish line, and in good spirits, too! Smiles & high-fives all around, accompanied by the cheers of a couple hundred audience members.

The 2019 Bus Pull teams were made up of faculty within the Alexandria public schools division, and included:

  • The District Office
  • Woodland Elementary
  • Voyager Elementary
  • Lincoln Elementary
  • Discovery Middle School
  • Alexandria Area High School
  • Garfield/Miltona/Carlos Schools

Times were compared to come up with a winner after each team had a go at pulling the school bus, but because of special circumstances within the guidelines of the event, the top listings got shuffled a bit.

To clarify, a check was presented to Jen & the United Way staff for over $26-thousand - a total of all the pay deductions our district staff offered up throughout this school year, further showing the immense amount of people pulling together for our schools & our community. Because of this, some schools received deductions in their pull-time and were able to take over the top spots - with Discovery Middle School taking home 1st place bragging rights, and a fabulous trophy to boot!

Thanks to all those who participated in the 1st annual United Way of Douglas & Pope County Bus Pull, as well as to everyone who worked tirelessly to make the event possible. We look forward to the competition's return - for the time being, enjoy the photos below snagged during the action and, remember, UWDP & District 206 are pulling for our community in West-Central Minnesota!