By Susan Heckler
As a parent, we can’t live by the saying “don’t do as I do, do as I say.” As an educator, Principal at Millstone Elementary School Dr. Stephen Wisniewski, has demonstrated a great show of living by example to his students.
School nurse, Mrs. Lori Blazier, sent out an email to the staff in the beginning of November explaining No Shave November. A few of the male staff members got together and decided to support this cause. Dr. Stephen Wisniewski, Principal; Mr. Anthony LaBella, Physical Education; Mr. Daniel Locandro, Art; Mr. Adam Gruber, Music; and Mr. Jason Miller, 3rd Grade all participated by growing beards for the month of November.
According to Dr. Wisniewski, “The goal of No-Shave November is to grow awareness by embracing our hair, which many cancer patients lose, and letting it grow wild and free. The idea is to donate the money a person would usually spend on shaving and grooming for a month to educate about cancer prevention, save lives, and aid those fighting the battle.”
Taking the concept one step further, Mr. Locandro then came up with the idea to raise money by having the students vote on how he should shave his beard at the end of the month. To encourage student involvement, he developed a ballot for the students to complete if they donated to the cause. The students had 15 different beard styles to choose from and one is funnier than the next. He got the idea from something he did when working at a local camp.
All of the donations are then going to the American Cancer Society. Dr.
Wisniewski said, “We started this just to have some fun and raise awareness, with very little expectations for actually raising money, but we raised $715 to support the American Cancer Society.”
Unfortunately for their Principal, mutton chops won as you can see by the photo.
How does Dr. Wisniewski feel about the impact on students? “I cannot believe how much excitement this has brought to the school community. Every day I talk to parents, teachers, and students who tell me how excited they were to pick a style, and most of them laugh saying they picked the funniest one. Students are telling me that they feel so connected to helping others, especially during the Thanksgiving holiday season. Students are taking dollars from their own money to help support the cause. I have heard of birthday money and tooth fairy money going to the cause.”
How does Mr. LaBella feel? “I was so proud to be part of a bigger cause to help raise awareness. In fact, outside of school I have been asked by people if I was supporting No-Shave November with my beard, and I was proud to tell them I was supporting cancer research.”
How does Mr. Miller feel? “It was certainly worth having to deal with the itch that comes with growing a new beard to help support a great cause.”
How does Mr. Gruber feel? “This was such a great way to raise money for a worthy cause.” Job well done! For more information, visit www.no-shave.org.