Hundreds of students started the countdown—10, 9, 8—with escalating enthusiasm accompanying each successive number. Once they hit zero, bucket after bucket of vanilla pudding “slime” poured over the heads of the teachers and principal of Putnam City’s Will Rogers Elementary School.
The students got to “slime” teachers to celebrate raising $7,200 at their annual jog-a-thon, contributing to their quest for first place in the district-wide fundraising drive to support cancer research at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation.
The jog-a-thon was held in February where the kids ran laps during P.E. class. The laps were recorded, and sponsors donated based on how many laps were run or simply offered outright donations. Will Rogers raised the bar once again, exceeding last year’s winning tally by $1,200.
Will Rogers principal John Lunn, who is in his 31st year in the district, said he is consistently encouraged by the generosity and creativity shown by his students, who won first prize in fundraising for the 2013-14 school year.
“We had a little girl who raised money through her mom’s Facebook account, and one parent said her daughter collected donations at a family gathering,” said Lunn. “The kids even go into their own piggy banks and donate pennies and nickels of their own. They love it and we try to make it as enjoyable for them as possible.”
At the assembly, the class at each grade level with the highest fundraising total had the opportunity to dump pudding on their teachers. The top 25 individual student fundraisers earned prizes, and a select few even got to be doused with pudding themselves.
Since 1975, Putnam City Schools have raised more than $3 million to fight cancer at OMRF. Cancer Drive funds have paid for laboratory equipment and supplies and funded the Putnam City Schools Distinguished Chair in Cancer Research at OMRF, which is held by Linda Thompson, Ph.D.
“We want our kids to be generous and raise money for causes outside themselves. It’s always a great opportunity for them to learn these life skills, and we love the relationship Putnam City Schools have with OMRF,” said Lunn. “But I think our students are winners no matter what, because they always show how generous they can be.”