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Linda Crowther (far left) dances along with the third-grade students in her music program at Trailside Elementary. Photo courtesy of the Crowther family.

Trailside Elementary parents were worried when a long-term substitute teacher was assigned to Linda Crowther's music program. After months of questions, Principal Kathleen Einhorn had to inform concerned parents that Crowther had been diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer.

Einhorn reflected on the first time she ever visited Trailside Elementary upon taking the job as principal. A third-grade music concert was going on in the auditorium. She said the children were singing about continents in eight different languages, and the auditorium and cafeteria area were overflowing with parents.

"I thought, 'Wow, that is the sign of an amazing elementary music teacher,'" Einhorn said, "when you can have not only that kind of participation on parents' parts but when you have children learning songs in different languages and the program is directly related to the curriculum."

According to the Parent Teacher Association at Trailside Elementary, Crowther has been a teacher in the Park City School District for 22 years and, more specifically, the music teacher at Trailside for seven years.

Now the community is rallying around Crowther thanks to Debra Crowther, Linda's daughter-in-law, and the rest of Linda's family. They have been working with Einhorn, the PTA, teachers and other members of the community to put together a "Legs for Linda" 5K fundraiser on Saturday, Oct. 26, at 10 a.m.

It is a $20 entry fee to run the 5K that will begin and end at Trailside. Registrants, donators, volunteers and community members can also purchase "Legs for Linda" 5K t-shirts for $20, available on the website. All proceeds will go toward Crowther's medical care.

The fundraiser came to fruition after Crowther's children learned that their mother had an aggressive form of cancer. Her five children, including Debra's husband, Chad, looked into home health care. They discovered a highly-recommended company that seemed to be able to provide the quality care that they desired for their mother.

However, insurance would not be able to cover the cost of the company. That is when Chad and his four younger siblings decided that they needed to do something to help their mother.

"In a situation like this, you always feel like you wish there was something you could do, but so often there is nothing you can do," said Debra. "We thought about how they have lived in the Park City community for about 36 years and have been very active in it, so there are probably people that would love to help her and support her but just don't know how."

Einhorn said that teachers and parents have been more than helpful in putting the 5K together and that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints around the corner from Trailside has been coordinating meals for Linda's family for the past seven months.

Trailside teachers have participated in that, taken meals and gone to visit her, she said. Debra said that Carla Coonradt has been the "local liaison" with the church and the community, and Chad's brother, Todd, who lives in Oakley, has also been a huge help.

Volunteers are still needed for the day of the event, and Debra said they would appreciate any help from the community as well as local vendors for refreshments, snacks and help with traffic and registration.

The family has set up a website, www.legsforlinda5k.com , where volunteers can register or donate if they are unable to make it to the actual event. On the website, there is also a link to a Facebook page where visitors can comment and request more information.

Legs for Linda 5K

  • Trailside Elementary
  • 5700 Trailside Dr.
  • Saturday, Oct. 26 at 10 a.m.
  • www.legsforlinda5k.com
  • debra.crowther@gmail.com