Stillwater News Press


June 19, 2013

Pioneer Playday making strides to keep event fun for whole family

STILLWATER, Okla. — Over the years, Stillwater High School cheer coach Carolyn Walstad has made great strides to make sure that the Pioneer Playday brings something fresh to the table every year.

Now in its 22nd year, Walstad is hoping the latest addition to the playday gets off on the right foot — literally — Friday at the Stillwater Country Club.

“We’ve added two new events to make it more than just a golf tournament,” Walstad said. “We’re having a Pioneer fun run that starts with registration at 6:45 a.m. Friday and the fun run at 7 a.m. ... We’ve also added a Pioneer style show, with clothes from Wooden Nickel, University Store, DuPree, Downtown Marketplace and the pro shop out at the country club. My cheers and poms will be modeling some clothes to wear to the fall for athletic events and those that attend the fashion show will get a 20 percent discount from those businesses.”

Whether it’s trotting through the first nine holes of the Stillwater Country Club’s golf course or watching the cheer and pom squads show off the latest fashions on the catwalk, Walstad said the ideas for the newest marquee features for the playday came out of necessity — and a desire to get more people to come out and support Pioneer athletics.

“We’re trying to bring a different clientele out to the club, which has been remodeled and looks fabulous,” Walstad said. “Hopefully, we’ll get more interest in the silent auction, as well. We’re really excited. It’s really hard to keep beating our totals because each year our totals are just so astonishing. The Stillwater community and businesses are just so supportive of us, it’s just really great.”

Stillwater has always been supportive of the golf tournament and — to a large degree — the silent auction. But a fun run and fashion show? Just the idea of it still keeps Walstad awake at night.

“We’re excited,” Walstad said. “The first year is always a little nerve racking because we don’t know what to expect, but we know that this is a positive addition for the playday. We are trying to make it more than just a golf tournament, so I think it will be good.”

It’s that kind of thinking that brought Walstad to the idea of the fun run and fashion show. She wanted something not just designed for golfers and sports memorabilia aficionados, but something for people of all ages.

“With the fun run, we do want to make it a family event,” Walstad said. “There’s no age limit on the fun run. We are saying no strollers just because it is going to be on the cart path, so we thought strollers might be a little bit of a hindrance this first year until we see what it’s like. But other than that, anybody is welcome to the fun run. For $20, you can’t beat it. It’s a chance to get out, run the front nine of the golf course with Starbucks coffee when you finish and a great T-shirt. The best part is the money is all going back toward the junior high and high school athletics.”

While the fun run costs $20 and includes a T-shirt and Starbucks coffee at the finish, entrance into the fashion show will cost $30 and will include wine and horderves.

Walstad said she’s already had some brave souls that have not only signed up for the fun run, but are also playing in the golf tournament and she has dared others to take on the Ironman-like challenge.

“We do have some that said they were going to do their morning jog at the fun run, then run into the club and take a shower before playing at the 8 a.m. tee time,” Walstad said.

Even those who aren’t up to the challenge of running around the golf course — on foot or golf cart — Walstad said there’s plenty of activities for others. From playing in the pool to the silent auction featuring a panoramic view of Boone Pickens Stadium after the 2012 victory over Oklahoma — complete with Brandon Weeden’s signature in what Walstad called “the icing on the cake to any mancave or office” — this year’s edition has something for everybody.

“We’re trying to make it truly a family affair,” Walstad said. “I know it’s really early in the morning for the fun run, but it will be cool and a great way to start your day off right with Pioneer pride and Starbucks coffee and doughnuts. It’s a great chance to be a supportive Pioneer fan all day long.”

As far as whether or not the fun run and fashion show will become staples of the Pioneer Playday, Walstad said it’s still to early to tell.

“I hope so,” Walstad said. “We’ll just have to see how it goes. Right now, we’re taking it one step at a time.”

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