Pender students raise a bundle

Staff writer
October 26, 2012 01:00 AM

Pender Harbour Secondary School teacher Jay Walls seems unusually cheerful while duct-taped to the gym wall - just one of several teacher/student challenges that were made as staff and students helped raise more than $1,600 for the Terry Fox Foundation.

It started out so innocently - Pender Harbour Secondary School's new leadership class wanted to come up with ways to increase their fundraising contributions for the Terry Fox Run. In previous years the school had raised less than $100 and this year they really wanted to make a difference.

The class decided to get the school's staff involved, and they recruited teachers, SETAs and principal Mark Heidebrecht to offer incentives to the students if they met certain goals.

"I agreed to get both my legs waxed if the school could raise $600," admitted Michele Mocellin, the leadership teacher. "I thought I was fairly safe. I mean $600 entailed a 600 per cent increase over the previous year's fundraising. I thought, we're a small school, how could we possibly manage that?"

Other teachers quickly followed suit. Keith Shaw, the school's art teacher, also agreed to waxing, but his commitment came with a heftier price tag -$500 for just one leg.

For that same $500, SETAs Ursula Dornbierer and Barbara Johnston said they would get an ear piercing. Jay Walls, the shop teacher, and Dave Stoddart, the humanities teacher, agreed to get duct-taped to the gym wall if $300 were donated.

Paige Mullins, the science teacher, said she would perform a rap to the Fresh Prince of Bel Air in front of the entire school if the students would come up with $300. And the stakes were raised if they could come up with $1,000 -she would actually get a tattoo. Maintenance worker Dave Marchand agreed to have a hair tattoo of the Rolling Stones logo shaved onto his head if his goal was met. Mocellin, Shaw, Stoddart and Mullins said they would be happy to get a pie in the face if a mere $100 or $200 were collected.

In the end, the school's fundraising efforts were wildly successful and more than $1,600 was raised.

"We had no idea it would actually come to this," Mocellin said. "But in the end we were more than happy to follow through with what we had promised to do. You should see how smooth my legs are now."

We're really excited to have had this much enthusiasm from the school," added senior leadership students Carly Fielding and Charlotte Gray. "We hope to carry this tone throughout the year. Students should expect many more events to come."

To top off the fundraising campaign, Heidebrecht hosted a pancake breakfast for the school on Oct. 5 to celebrate the students' exceptional achievement and school spirit.

"I am extremely proud of our leadership class, our staff, students and community in the way they supported the fundraising efforts for the Terry Fox Foundation," Heidebrecht said. "For our school to raise over $1,600 for cancer research is an amazing accomplishment and something that says a lot about our school and community."

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