THUNDER BAY - Gaetan Roy hasn’t been without his moustache in 30 years – until Wednesday.
The Grade 4 teacher at Agnew H. Johnston School challenged students to raise more than $14,000 during their annual Jump Rope for Heart campaign, promising to shave his upper lip bare if they did.
When the donations were added up, the final tally totalled $16,500.
On Wednesday Roy made good on his promise.
“I’m really pleased with the final results,” he said, unsure of how much of an incentive his promise gave students in their fundraising efforts.
“Some of the students were teasing me, asking me, ‘When are you shaving, when are you shaving.’ I was very surprised at $16,000. It was amazing fundraising.”
Paige Kawahara is a Grade 3 student at the Churchill Street school and said the Jump Rope for Heart campaign is always a lot of fun.
Getting to see a teacher shave his moustache added to the fun of the occasion.
“Nobody’s ever seen him without his moustache,” the nine-year-old said.
And even at such a tender age, the youngster knows it’s important to help give back to the community.
“If anybody is sick or has problems, it’s important to help them, even if you don’t know them,” she said.
Teacher Sarah Gerry, a Grade 2 teacher, helped organize the event, which they’ve been doing since 2000.
“The kids love it and our community really supports us,” she said.
“For a lot of them, heart disease affects somebody in their family, so it’s an event that’s really close to their heart. They really come out and they know that the end result is a fun day of skipping and activities outside.”
Roy’s challenge was an added bonus this year.
But it’s the students who responded, regardless of why, she said.
“I’m very proud of them. They went above and beyond and exceeded everybody’s expectation.”
All proceeds are turned over to the Thunder Bay chapter of the Heart and Stroke Foundation.
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