Sunday, April 20, 2003

Good News

Principal loses dare with kids

That wasn't cousin Minnie Pearl, standing on the roof at Princeton High School Thursday. That was principal Ray Spicher, dressed like her.

He admits he enjoyed the disguise while paying off a challenge he made to his students. Smiling and waving, dressed in a red-and-black dress, a straw hat, a pink boa and gym shoes, he drew the attention of motorists.

"I picked out the best dress Goodwill had," he said.

Princeton principal Ray Spicher dressed as a woman and stood on the roof of the school.
(Photo provided)
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Spicher had promised students that if they topped Fairfield High School in raising money in the Pasta for Pennies/Pennies for Patients Project he would dress up as a woman, and if they raised more than $25,000, he would climb on the roof in the woman's apparel.

The students took the challenge. Not only did they beat Fairfield, they beat every other school in the state by raising $31,962 and came in second in the nation behind Orange High School in California.

"When they first started, I didn't think they would raise that amount," Spicher said. "But when they started giving weekly reports, I started looking for a dress."

Asked if his wife, Pattie, helped pick the dress, he said: "Definitely not. I left home this morning dressed in a T-shirt and pants."

Spicher said he thinks the challenge he gave the students generated the enthusiasm.

"I think all the 1,850 students here became involved. We always do very well in the campaign because it is for a good cause," Spicher said.

The fund-raiser is a nationwide effort to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. The campaign was launched Jan. 27 among 9,000 schools across the country. At Princeton, it also included the 3,200 students in the Princeton School District who were determined to defend the title they achieved last year when they raised $21,532 and placed second to Orange High School.

Chad Winkle, student council president, said the goal seemed a little high at first.

"When the students became involved in the challenge, I knew we would make it," he said.

More than $9 million was collected last year in the campaign. Lisa Schare, campaign manager for the school and youth program for the Southern Ohio Chapter of the Society, said the money has provided for extensive research on the disease.

Fighting crime, drugs and gangs through the power of God and taking the church to the streets are themes of the Cincinnati Baptist Ministers' 27th annual Simultaneous Revival, April 27-May 3.

It will start with rap sessions, workshops, panel discussion and an essay contest.

From 4 to 5 p.m.Monday through Friday, the churches go to the streets in Avondale, Evanston, Madisonville, Walnut Hills and the West End.

Allen Howard's "Some Good News" column runs Sunday-Friday. If you have suggestions about outstanding achievements, or people who are uplifting to the Tristate, let him know at 768-8362, at or by fax at 768-8340.

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