Frog-a-Nanny run raises awareness for special needs students

Three young race winners.

Three young race winners.

The Frog-a-Nanny fun run and 5K run were held Friday at BNA Bank Park with 47 participants in the main run.
The event is held to focus awareness on special needs students and help raise money to pay for projects for the students.
Frog-a-Nanny began 18 years ago as part of Frog-a-Nal, a festival to raise money for the then-new Dean Provence Endowment for Excellence in Education. “Frog” was Provence’s nickname in high school and “Nanny” was what students called special education director’s Kelly Coltharp’s mother.
Frog-a-Nanny began with the ball game for New Albany special education students and buddies and about eight years ago, Coltharp was able to add county students and the clients at New Haven Center for Special Needs Adults began to participate as well.
“The volunteers range from family members to Scout troops to school clubs and athletic teams, community service clubs (Pilot, Anchor, Civitan, Kiwanis),”Coltharp said. “Originally, the softball and baseball teams always volunteered as buddies but it has grown so we include other organizations. We organize them by area like, pep rally, parade, ballgame, picnic, 5k run. There are over 100 volunteers involved.”
Coltharp and supporters raise money to cover the cost of the event, approximately $7,000 last year. “That includes uniforms, medals, plaques, food, various items for players and buddies,” she said. “To make sure we have the funds, we sale FAN T-shirts at all schools, ask for donations, host a paint the frog party, put on a play and fashion show this year, have the 5k run/fun run, and sell various FAN items.”
Any money left over goes back to the students, she said.
“We built the outdoor pavilion several years ago, built by Mr. Billy Watkins and students with disabilities and provided picnic tables at the Middle School in memory of Allison Baxter, a student. I’m going to update the picnic tables with FAN funds this year,” she said.
Coltharp’s goal now is to build a rubberized ball field for students with disabilities.
“There is one at Snowden Grove in Olive Branch and it is totally rubber; wheelchairs glide smoothly,” she said. “They have a league for students with disabilities. We did at one time, but I have let it fall to the wayside. I think we could build it and host other teams and provide a great time for children and their families.”
One estimate for the cost of such a field is at least $50,000, but that is Coltharp’s next goal.
A breakdown of run results by age was not available at presstime but below is a list of overall times and accompanying are photos of winners and the run.

1. Jay Ash 21’45 40
2. Joseph Fennell 23’24 11
3. Andrew Fennell 23’39 71
4. Greg Windham 23’52 30
5. Christopher Rohling 24’19 78
6. Zachariah Ball 25’27 65
7. Trent Gresham 25’59 78
8. Ginny Coltharp 26’40 43
9. Dylan Hopson 27’56 37
10. Greg Lawrence 27’57 02
11. James Schallock 27’58 55
12. Camille Blaylock 28’11 81
13. Hunter Hodges 29’10 08
14. Amy Holman 29’48 90
15. Stefenie Hodges 29’56 55
16. Pete Mueller 30’31 24
17. Tate Howard 30’48 11
18. Melanie Zahler 30’58 68
19. Leslie Williams 31’17 55
20. Collins Coltharp 31’58 58
21. Shane Tucker 32’31 46
22. Isaiah Ball 32’58 62
23. Amy Gresham 33’06 90
24. Eydie Pullman 35’37 11
25. Caleb Wilson 36’14 21
26. Paul Fly 36’14 81
27. Alice Thomas 37’55 99
28. Juan Fernandez 41’02 27
29. Nuria Fernandez-Rios 41’02 65
30. Jonah Zahler 44’02 37
31. Elliot Pullman 44’21 87
32. TJ Simmons 44’26 05
33. James Pullman 44’27 27
34. Natalie Pullman 45’49 49
35. Maggie Everett 45’51 05
36. John MacGregor Davis 45’52 05
37. Cecilia Pullman 45’53 84
38. Latonya Ball 47’34 18
39. Brayden Lessard 49’41 55
40. Kaitlin Horne 50’52 37
41. 51’01 37 51’01 37
42. Everett Garrett 51’03 43
43. Ashley Robbins 51’22 90
44. Audra Ash 51’23 78
45. Beth Fly 52’15 93
46. Katie Kidd 58’47 74
47. 59’43 68