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March 17, 2013

Changing for change: Wilson Elementary teachers, students shave their heads for “Pennies for Patients” fundraiser

JEFFERSONVILLE — In a lot of ways, the Spring Carnival at Wilson Elementary School last week was what people have come to expect from the annual celebration: Huge crowds (more than 600 people), games, snacks and plenty of fun for all ages. But it was a new addition to this year’s carnival that turned a lot of heads. 

Kyle Parr, a fifth-grade teacher at Wilson, enlisted the help of Sheila Gustafson, campaign coordinator for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, to organize a kick-off for the Pennies for Patients fundraiser as the festival’s special attraction. 

“We are doing a Pennies for Patients Drive, and tonight is the kick-off. It’s also for the purpose to raise awareness,” Parr said about Friday’s event.

In the coming weeks, students who lend their support to Pennies for Patients can elect to participate in hat and pajama days and other activities before the fundraiser wraps up with a closing event on April 10. And even though there’s still plenty of time to give to the fundraiser, some students and teachers — including Parr — decided to give to the cause in a big way during Friday’s carnival by gathering donations and then have their heads shaved to raise both funds and awareness for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Foundation. 

Student Adam Weigel had his head shaved, and his dad, Sean, was proud of his son’s fundraising efforts. 

“I think this is a very good cause. It’s great to get the students out here for the donations, and it’s a fun way for kids learn about it,” said Sean Weigel.

Two stylists from Hair Concepts of Greenville, donated their time to the event for the head shaving.

“It was very enjoyable to participate in the cause,” said Hair Concepts owner Audrey Marcum, who said her salon often participates in such fundraisers as the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. 

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