Aycock Elementary School — Hats for cancer kids and a kiss for Schnitzel

Dec. 19, 2012 @ 08:40 PM

Aycock Elementary School recently held their “Heavenly Hats” project fundraiser. Students and staff members donated hats to children battling cancer and close to $359 to the Duke Children’s Hospital in Durham. Erika Barnett, school counselor at Aycock Elementary, coordinated the project.

The project culminated Nov. 2 with a school-wide assembly in the multipurpose room. The effort included a competition among the students, who were divided into two groups. Students in kindergarten-second grade raised more money than the students in grades 3-5. According to the rules of the “contest,” Laura Rigsbee, the school principal, was subsequently required to kiss a live pig. (If the results had been reversed, Kristen Boyd, assistant principal, would have been the one kissing the pig.)

During the assembly, Royal Harris of Henderson, owner and operator of Character Antics Inc., had his staff bring in, Schnitzel, his 50-pound pet pig for Rigsbee to kiss. Used in some of Harris’ magic shows, Schnitzel was brought in to the multipurpose room in a cage. After placing his cage on a table on the stage, his handlers opened the cage top and more than 400 students and teachers witnessed Rigsbee planting a kiss on the top of Schnitzel’s head.

In addition, two school staff members had to have their heads shaved during the assembly since more than $300 in donations were collected. Teachers Edward Ortega and Ian Hines came on stage to have their hair cut by Jennifer Wade.

The event culminated with students and staff members marching around the multipurpose room donning the hats the had collected in the “Heavenly Hats” parade as the remaining students and staff waved to them.

The money and hats were sent to Duke Children’s Hospital a few days later.