BENNINGTON >> Bennington Elementary students and stuff participated in the second annual "Staff Stunts" assembly on Friday, which for the first time raised money for leukemia and lymphoma research.
The event started as a parent-teacher organization fundraiser last year, said assistant principal Jerry O'Connor. He said teacher Nancy Haynes had approached him about using the event as a way to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. So far, students have raised over $800 for the organization, and will continue to raise money through next week. The class that raises the most money will get a pizza party. Currently, Melinda Harrington's third grade class is in the lead, followed by Lexie Dunham's first grade class. Students voted on which of their teachers and staff should be humiliated in various ways.
The event started off with a pie eating contest, in which students from each grade got to challenge O'Connor, who was billed as the "undisputed pie eating champion of the Northeast," and entered the gym wearing American flag shorts and with towels stuffed up his shirt to represent the practicing he'd been doing. After much showboating, to Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger," O'Connor sat down in his chair, only to have it break underneath him. Haynes, through her laughter, admitted that that was unplanned. After time expired, students got to hit O'Connor in the face with their half-finished pies.
Music teacher Mary Chambers had her hair dyed, half pink and half green, and teacher Tricia Haldane was pied by a number of students. Art teacher Cara Nisbeth had a bucket of slime dumped on her head. First grade teachers Dunham and Jodie Hudson got buckets of ice water dumped on their heads. Finally, O'Connor and second grade teacher Michael Casalinova had their heads shaved.
The main event of the afternoon, however, saw principal Jim Law go head-to-head with three of his students in a tricycle race. Law was neck and neck with one of the students heading toward the finish line, when suddenly Haynes came out of nowhere on a tricycle of her own, trying to steal a victory. They crashed spectacularly, allowing one of the students to win the race.
The $800 raised marks a great success for the school, as they vastly exceeded their goal of $500, and raised almost three times what was raised by the fundraiser last year.
Derek Carson can be reached for comment at 802-447-7567, ext. 122.