More than 500 students and faculty of Marana’s Roadrunner Elementary School were excited on Nov. 18, when members of the Catalina Mountain Elks Lodge donated $1,200 in art supplies.

Joyce Garcia and Alane Asp, of the Elks, presented the surprise donation.

Roadrunner Elementary currently has no budget for art supplies.

“It’s the dedicated teachers, who are already working off a tight budget who usually go out and get supplies for their classes,” said Tamara Crawley, director of public relations for the Marana Unified School District.

Roadrunner Principal Elizabeth Armenta made the morning announcement at the outdoor assembly. After introducing the school board, and Elks Lodge members to the students, Armenta turned over the microphone to Garcia and Asp.

Garcia informed the students they would be receiving a donation of art supplies. Upon hearing and processing this announcement, several students let out a small gasp. She motioned with her hands toward the large boxes that stood next to the speaking podium, which contained the art supplies, and many children began applauding.

Excited, Armenta said, “Guess what you guys? We have real paint. Actual real paint. We have real drawing paper that artists use.”

Many of the students responded by shouting out, and the crowd was filled with smiles.

“Your teachers all made a list of art supplies that we need,” Armenta said. “And, we are so lucky to have them now.”

Michaels Arts and Crafts, located off Oracle Rd., facilitated the donation of the art supplies by giving the Elks Lodge a “teacher’s discount.”

The Elks Lodge was able to give the donation thanks to extra funding that came from a $2,000 grant from the Grand Lodge.

Besides working with the Roadrunner Elementary for the last few years, the Catalina Mountain Elks Lodge will also be participating in the fifth-annual  “Shopping Spree for Kids.”

The Elks Lodge sponsors the event, which enables them to treat about 30 children in need to a day of shopping at J.C.Penney, and a lunch at their lodge with Santa on Dec. 3.

The eventful day will conclude with Elks Lodge members giving holiday gifts and school supplies to each student.

This year, because of the grant, the Elks are able to include 35 students to participate in this charitable event.

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