JOHNSTOWN - Like many elementary school children throughout the area, Glebe Street Elementary School third-grader Garrett Bobowski had to come up with a project to mark the 100th day of school.
The 8-year-old decided to do something that not only observes the occasion, but supports a charity.
On Wednesday, Garrett told other students about his accomplishment of running 100 miles in 100 school days and raising more than $500 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Pennies For Patients Service Learning Program.
Garrett Bobowski, left, a third-grader at Glebe Street Elementary School in Johnstown, presents his 100th-day project to his classmates in the school library Wednesday. Garrett ran 100 miles to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
The Leader-Herald/Bill Trojan
Garrett decided in September he wanted to run 100 miles for his 100th Day of School project. As he chipped away at the mileage, his mother, Trisha Bobowski, was inspired with an idea for her son.
"Garrett ran a 5k [in 2013] and did really, really well," Trisha Bobowski said. "So I asked him [in December] if he would like to run the 100 miles and raise money for a charity at the same time for his 100th day of school project. He agreed and was extremely excited and couldn't wait to do it."
Pennies For Patients is a service learning program that challenges students across the nation to learn more about blood cancer and collect spare change to support cancer research and patient services.
Garrett accomplished his 100-mile goal Friday, four days before the 100th-day celebration.
Trisha said Garrett completed the task by running 5k races, miles on the treadmill, running in the snow and at the Gloversville Middle School, where Trisha works as an eighth-grade teacher.
Since December, Garrett has raised $525. The website for the charity will keep Garrett's fundraising effort up until the middle of June.
"We still plan on raising money," Trisha said.
Garrett said the process has combined two of his favorite activities: helping people and running.
"I really love to run," Garrett said. "And helping people is something that makes me happy."
He said the idea of combining a school project with a charity started last year when he made 100 craft bags to donate to children at Albany Medical Center's children's center for his 100th day-of-school project.
"Helping kids my age makes me feel better," he said. "My parents really like it when I help others, and it's something I really like doing."
Trisha said her husband and her try to instill a sense of pride in their children when it comes to caring for and helping those in need.
Trisha said Garrett has adopted the same attitude.
"Garrett likes to help others; he loves to do things for others," she said. "He's always looking to help someone, and it really makes me proud."
Garrett's project included a display that showed photos from his running sessions and basic information about blood cancer.
For more information on Pennies For Patients, visit www.SchoolandYouth.org/UNY.