WMS students gets buzzed for very good cause

Tue, 02/27/2007 - 5:53pm
By: Michael Boylan

Tyler Newcomer, a sixth grader

A student learns a lot in middle school, but sometimes the biggest lessons don’t come from a textbook or a lecture.

Tyler Newcomer, a sixth-grader in Casey Jones’ class at Whitewater Middle School, and George Kilgore, an eighth-grader, have learned about compassion, dedication to a project and following through on a promise.

At the start of the Pennies for Patients program this year, a three-week fund-raising drive for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Newcomer told his classmates that he would shave his head if they could raise over $400.

The class responded by raising $1,101.47 and Newcomer had a date with a pair of clippers. As the classroom that raised the most money, the students will receive a pizza party and Jones will receive $150 to spend on classroom materials.

Kilgore set the bar for his class at $600 and the class raised $656.

Whitewater Middle School has been the top fund-raising middle school in Georgia for Pennies for Patients for the last three years. The school has raised over $17,000 since starting to participate in the program and got behind the cause in full force once again this year, raising over $7,100.

Each year students or faculty members decide to offer up their hair as a way to rally their peers to donate their change.

Counselor Kelly Camarata, the Pennies for Patients coordinator at the school, stated that the school has always gotten behind projects like Pennies for Patients and Relay for Life.

Not only did the school lose a teacher to leukemia several years ago, but many people know someone who has been affected by that disease or one like it.

The school also selects an Honored Hero each year, a young person who is battling leukemia, and the students get to see what they are going through and how they can help.

This year’s Honored Hero is Keegan Puckett, the little brother of a student at the school. Newcomer’s mother, Tammy, stated that he offered to shave his head after being moved by the little boy’s story.

“I asked him if he was sure if he wanted to do this and he told me, ‘Mom, he’s got leukemia, I can handle getting my head shaved.’”

It still came as a shock as his teacher, Jones, sheared his head on Monday morning while his classmates looked on. Afterwards his principal, Sandra Kidd, praised his new ‘do.

“I think it looks good,” she said, adding that she was very proud of the efforts of all the students.

Newcomer kept feeling the top of his buzzed head afterwards but said that he had no regrets and that it was for a good cause.

Kilgore wanted to do something to inspire his homeroom and give them something to look forward to. The entire team came out to watch him get his head shaved and Kilgore even made a t-shirt for the occasion, reading “shave the hair, share the love.”

Both young men were nervous when the time came to shed their hair, but they sat through the event like good sports and got used to their new ‘dos quickly.

The question is, how will the school top this next year?

Any volunteers?

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Submitted by sinalevesque on Tue, 03/13/2007 - 3:19pm.

I am a senior at WHS and I know how pumped up we get at our school when Pennies for Patients or Relay for life comes around or just saving up money for any other cause, but this story is just amazing. I remeber when I went to WMS when we were rasing money for Mrs. Hudson it was so amazing seeing how kind can pull together for a good cause, and every year after that we kids just take it one step further. Just amazing!

Submitted by NinaLynn on Wed, 02/28/2007 - 8:24am.

Way to go Tyler and George ! Good job guys.

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