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BLAIRSVILLE: 'Pink-Out' raises funds for Birdie's Closet

by ASHLEE STEINER, Gazette student news reporter on January 17, 2014 11:00 AM

BLAIRSVILLE — Blairsville Middle-High School raised $3,312.87 recently for its first “Pink-Out” weeklong fund-raiser. The proceeds were sent to Birdie’s Closet at Indiana Regional Medical Center, a benefit for women who have breast cancer.

This idea was presented and executed by guidance counselor Mark Zerfoss, who expressed that he wanted to do something that would benefit breast cancer awareness. The goal activity for this fundraiser was to reach $1,000 in order for one of the well-known janitors, Ron Johnston, also known as “RJ,” to have his head publicly shaved by Joe Kozmack, a barber from Homer City.

[PHOTO: Blairsville High School junior Rebecca Bell rehearsed for Regional Chorus. Bell and fellow junior Ashlee Steiner advanced from District Chorus to Regional Chorus. (Submitted photo/Blairsville High School)]

Once $2,000 had been reached, it had been rumored among middle school students that Zerfoss himself would do the honors and would also receive a celebratory head shave. After an evening of fundraising excitement, it was announced that Blairsville Middle-High School had raised $3,312.87 during the fundraiser. Zerfoss conceded defeat, and with a nervous smile he sat down, allowing himself to have his head shaved.

This Pink-Out was an event to raise money by getting students involved in “Penny Wars” (each middle school class had to compete against one another to collect the most pennies), having students wear pink to demonstrate their support, $2 donations for the middle-high school to participate in dodgeball tournaments and concessions hosted by the PTO.

Approximately 85 percent of Blairsville Middle-High School students participated in these activities.

When asked how they felt about the Pink-Out experience, many students had a positive attitude.

“The Pink-Out dodgeball was really fun, and students were able to release a lot of energy during school hours. I’m glad that our school was able to raise a lot of money for breast cancer awareness,” said junior Alex Parkhurst.

Senior Danyelle Pividori said, “It increased our school’s activity in the community and helped kids get involved instead of just having a fundraiser.”

Senior Angela Shirley added, “It got a lot more kids to participate, because they felt like they were more involved. It was put together very well. The idea was well structured.”

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