THUNDER BAY - Russ Aegard figured he’d set the bar high.
The C.D. Howe Elementary School teacher never thought students at the school would reach the $3,000 fundraising limit he set.
But with his hair hanging in the balance, the youngsters crushed the goal, collecting $4,067 for the Heart and Stroke Foundation through a Jump Rope for Heart fundraiser.
True to his word, Aegard, a would-be politician in a former life, had his head shaved in front of the entire school, the payment he agreed to if students hit their goal.
Though he’s never been bald before, it was a great exercise to teach his students about giving back to the community, while helping out a great cause, he said.
Aegard said he volunteered to do something as inspiration for the youngsters, but it was the students who chose what the payoff would be.
“I did set the level pretty high, at $3,000, when the record was $2,400. I was hoping that they wouldn’t reach it, but they did get there,” he said, happy nonetheless that a school of fewer than 150 students could collect so much money.
“They were $1,000 over the goal that we had set, so it was a really good job. It gets the kids involved in their community and makes sure they have good social responsibility to help out where it’s needed. For the Heart and Stroke Foundation it’s been great. It gets them exercising, it gets them energetic and it gets them excited about something.”
Mika Wilson, 12, and Ashley Erickson, 11, presented their Grade 6 teacher with a tube of suntan lotion to protect his hairless head from the summer sun, a hat with a wig attached in case he misses his hair and a barbershop lollipop as a reward for a job well done.
“It was a challenge to see if we could raise enough money, and we raised over that,” Mika said.
Ashley confirmed Aegard didn’t believe the students could do it.
But they showed him, she said.
“He was denying everything and he said, ‘Oh, I wish I wasn’t doing this,’ when he was shaving his head. He just didn’t look that happy,” Ashley said.
They both thought it was great that their teacher made the sacrifice. It’s for a great cause, Mika said.
“You can help people live longer,” she said.
Click here to report a typo or error
You must log in to add comments.
Create a new account
Remember me next time.