‘Bring a buck, wear a hat’ Teacher will use proceeds for 2012 Relay for Life walk
By Pixie Sulser
Hat wearing was against the rules during the school year at Barnett Elementary. That is unless you were in the fourth grade, it was a Thursday and you were willing to donate $1.
Paying for the privilege to don a hat of any kind was a way to raise funds in support of school health technician, Cheryl Silvaggio, who was diagnosed with breast cancer not long after school started.
Fourth-grade teachers Cathy Harrington and Randy Schimpf explained that as a grade level they try to do some kind of service project every year. When Silvaggio was diagnosed, the group wanted to do something on her behalf, and the “Bring a Buck, Wear a Hat” campaign was born.
Every Thursday for 12 to 15 weeks, fourth-grade students were allowed to wear any type of headwear as long as they also brought $1 to donate to the fish bowl.
“The students were very creative,” shared Harrington. “We saw a little bit of everything from leopard prints to coconuts They were also very generous, with many students (families) donating more than a dollar.”
On hat day, Schimpf would collect donations in a large fish bowl, which would then go to attendance secretary Gina Walters for an official count. Harrington and Schimpf would also do something special for the donating students such as provide treats or invite the students to eat lunch with them. Over the course of the project, the group collected $501, letting Silvaggio decide how the money would best be used.
After considering several ideas of where to donate the funds, Silvaggio decided to use it to participate in the 2012 Relay for Life 24 Hour Walk that raises awareness and funds for the fight against all types of cancer.
“A year before I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I watched my stepdad pass away from colon cancer,” she said. “Although my recovery has gone great, I will not be ready to participate in the Susan B. Koman 3 Day, but I will be able to walk in support to fight every kind of cancer by the spring Relay for Life.
“I was overwhelmed and touched that they (the students and teachers) put this together. I am so proud of them for raising the amount of money that they did, and I am deeply honored that they raised it in recognition of me and my journey with cancer.”
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