ROXBURY, NJ - Living up to their promises, Roxbury High School teachers are suffering good-humored humiliation on behalf of raising money for pediatric cancer research.
As he pledged to do if the school's Mini-THON fundraising effort raised $25,000 by March 3, science teacher Mike Gottfried allowed his brown hair to be bleached and then dyed a bright red. Or pink. Or something in between.
And following through on his pledge, industrial arts/woodshop teacher Paul Wood allowed not only his head but also his beard to be shaved when the $25,000 goal was reached.
The mini-THON event takes place this Friday and other high school teachers are joining-in by offering "donor drive incentives" as means of getting people to donate.
For example, special education teacher Kellie Damelio got her hair dyed pink and Roxbury High School Principal Dominick Miller allowed himself to be duct taped to a wall.
If $45,000 is raised before 5 p.m. on Friday special education teacher Ryan Gibson will decorate his beard with glitter. Also, special education teacher Kaitlyn Oster and family consumer science teacher Casey Obratis will perform a duet on stage.
If $50,000 is raised before 5 p.m. on Friday, special education teacher Michael Baldino and business teacher Alan Smarz will shave their heads/beards and special education teacher Meg Fagan will refrain from speaking for an entire day.
If the fundraising reaches $55,0000, Assistant Principal Jon Deeb will spend a day in in-school suspension and special education teacher Helen Hollenback will get a tattoo symbolizing strength.
As of today, this year's mini-THON has raised nearly $35,000, according to the website where donations can be made.
Roxbury Schools Spokeswoman Ann Rhodes noted that Gottfried attended a Roxbury STEAM expo on Saturday, pink hair and all. "His hair will be like that for the next six weeks," she noted. "That color doesn't wash out."
"Mini-THON is both an event and a club at RHS," explains the website where people can make donations. "Leading up to the event, hundreds of students fundraise to participate in a night of no sitting and no sleeping, as everyone literally stands for the cause. All proceeds from the event go to the non-profit organization, Four Diamonds, which supports cancer research and covers medical bills for families."
Gottfried is an advisor to mini-THON, which is also a club at the school "where multiple committees come together to plan and organize the event" including food, entertainment, games and logistics.
Last year's mini-THON club raised $78,578.80, with 500 students participating, according to the club, which hopes to raise at least $50,000 this year. In its five years of existence, Robury's Mini-THON has raised about $170,000.
Roxbury High School's mini-THON is modeled off Penn State University's IFC/Panhellenic Cance Marathon (THON) fundraiser.