PLATTSBURGH — Cumberland Head Elementary Principal Garth Frechette isn’t afraid to get a little messy if it means motivating kids to raise money for the needy.
As part of the school’s Coins for Caring fundraiser, students were asked to bring to school any change they could spare for charity.
Frechette promised to take a pie in the face if students could amass $100; he vowed to kiss a pig if $200 were raised; and if the kids could come up with $300 in coins, the principal agreed to dye his hair the school’s colors: red and gray.
After just 10 days of coin collecting, more than $470 was raised, $300 of which will be donated to the Pediatric Ward at CVPH Medical Center.
The remaining balance will go to a relief fund to benefit victims of Oklahoma’s recent deadly tornado.
“They have been so excited,” Frechette said of his students before fulfilling his promises at a recent student assembly. “They tell me every day, ‘You’re going to kiss a pig!’”
The entire school looked on and cheered as the principal had red spray added to his already gray hair, took a pie in the face and planted a smooch on Porky the pig.
“I was really happy when we got our $300 because I really wanted to see him do that,” said fourth-grader and Student Council President Brooke Ruest, who was given the honor of dousing her principal with a pan full of apples and whipped cream.
Though the 9-year-old was a little nervous to throw the pie at Frechette, at first, Brooke ended up having fun with it.
“I would love to do it again,” she said.
CVPH Center for Women and Children Director Maria Hayes accepted the donation on behalf of the Pediatric Ward.
Hayes told students the money would be used to purchase items, such as stickers, books and games, for hospitalized children to make their hospital stay “a little bit less scary.”
In a separate interview, Hayes said that while the hospital receives many donations and appreciates them all, the one from Cumberland Head Elementary is especially touching.
“This makes it so much more rewarding when it comes from a group of kids.
“It’s just so wonderful,” she said.
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