BURRILLVILLE – Noticing that donations were slow this year in the school’s annual Pennies for Patients fundraiser, Burrillville Middle School 7th grade special education teacher Eric Tupper made a deal with students.
If the fund reached $1,500 before the deadline, he would let them shave his head.
The deal, it seems, turned out to be a powerful motivator.
Pennies for Patients helps raise money to fund research for therapies that save the lives of blood cancer patients. Money raised goes to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society with a mission to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. LLS funds lifesaving blood cancer research around the world and provides free information and support services.
In Burrillville, the program is run each year by 6th grade teachers Louise Boucher and Carol Abruzzi. And with the help of a little incentive, the students raised $1,600 for the cause in 2019.
True to his word, Tupper let students hit his head with a buzzer during the annual Faculty vs Students Dodgeball game in two stages. A group of 6th grade students started the job in the morning, and 7th and 8th graders finished him off in the afternoon.