Bryelle Gallagher had the chance to show support for a friend in need. At the same time, she had a glorious, perhaps once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, to toss cream pies at the helpless visage of math teacher Colin Schulz.
For Gallagher, it was a double win and she took full advantage of it on Tuesday at D.P. Todd Secondary School.
Gallagher, a Grade 9 student at the school, was one of many who took part in a messy, fun, inspirational fundraiser for fellow student Kyra Edgson, who is undergoing treatment in Vancouver for leukemia, a cancer of the blood cells. For every $5 donated to Edgson and her family, students were handed one cream pie to hurl at the teacher of their choice.
Gallagher, who has been close with Edgson since Kindergarten, spent $50. The quick math (thanks, Mr. Schulz) equated to 10 pies, and Schulz was her target with every single one of them.
“We always joke around with him and when I saw his name on the pie list I knew it was a perfect opportunity,” said Gallagher, who was in Schulz’s math class last semester.
“It was definitely worth the money,” Gallagher added with a grin. “I’ve always wanted to throw a pie at Mr. Schulz.”
Gallagher – who loved Schulz’s math class – has been in regular contact with Edgson via messaging app Snapchat. And to know that all the money collected in the pie-in-the-face fundraiser would be supporting her friend made Gallagher that much more motivated to get involved in a big way.
“That’s why I did contribute a lot because I knew it was going for a good cause and I think it’s good for the school that they fundraised for her,” she said.
Schulz was the most popular target on the day. He wiped the remnants of 19 pies off his face.
“I think it’s because I’m a math teacher,” he said of being on the receiving end of so much whipped topping. “The numbers work in my favour, or against me.
“I think it’s great,” he added, in reference to the event and the support for Edgson. “The students got involved.”
Grade 10 student Ben Ellenchuk even paid $5 to have pies thrown at him.
“I’m a team player,” he said after the creamy chaos had calmed down a bit.
“Honestly, it was really great that I got to participate in it. I never thought that I’d get to be pied. But I thought, ‘You know what? Why not flip the switch a little, pay a little money out of my pocket and support a friend and have fun while doing so.’”
In total, the pie-flinging festivities raised about $600.
As for Edgson, she received a bone marrow transplant from sister Sydney, who is in Grade 10 at D.P. Todd, and is doing well.
“Kyra was very sick for a period of time but she’s actually doing much better and, last I heard, they’re expecting a 100 per cent recovery and she may be back in Prince George as early as the end of June,” said D.P. Todd teacher Tracy Connell, who helped initiate and organize the fundraiser, which was born on the heels of a similar event held recently at College Heights Secondary School. “Originally, it was if everything went as well as could be it would be the end of September that they would be back in town so it’s pretty great.”