Teacher shaves her head after students surpass fundraising goal

With a few fun incentives, Willingdon Elementary School students more than tripled the amount of money that was raised last year for the Terry Fox Foundation

For this year’s Terry Fox Run, Willingdon Elementary School phys-ed teacher Lara Belinsky decided to shake things up a bit: if her students raised $15,000, she would shave her head in front of the whole school.

By the time their Oct. 7 deadline rolled around, they had exceeded their goal and raised more than $26,000 for cancer research.

“In the past, we had always raised quite a bit of money for the Terry Fox Foundation,” Belinsky says. “But I wanted my students to take it to the next level.”

In order to motivate them further, Belinsky consulted with the Athletics Council and her Grade 6 students to come up with fun ‘rewards’ every time they reached a specific amount.

Belinsky, who has been teaching at Willingdon for four years, held up her end of the bargain by shaving her long curly locks last Friday. She was ecstatic that her students went above and beyond to raise money and awareness for a disease that affects the lives of so many people. Along with the main event, a couple of teachers and the vice principal got pies thrown in their faces and the principal performed a karaoke routine.

The Terry Fox Run is an annual fundraising event that takes place across the country to commemorate the life, perseverance and journey of the Canadian athlete and cancer research advocate.