UPDATE: As of about 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, Shelton High School had raised $3,000 for the Hewitt Center for Breast Wellness. That means, Headmaster Beth Smith, the housemasters, athletic director and two seniors will dye their hair pink tomorrow.
Shelton High School is the home of some enterprising young minds, and this week they’ll be put to the test in order to meet Headmaster Beth Smith’s Pink Challenge to her student body: “Raise $1,000 by Friday for the Hewitt Center for Breast Wellness, and you can ‘pink’ my hair for the day!”
For the past three years, Shelton High students, teachers and parents have collaborated to raise support for the Hewitt Center as part of “The Valley Goes Pink,” a community-wide awareness building and fund-raising effort to help prevent breast cancer.
Cheerleaders have collected donations in the stands at football games; soccer and volleyball teams have donned pink attire and solicited donations at special events and meets; and students have sold pink merchandise and auctioned gift baskets.
And every year, the entire school is invited to wear their best pink outfits to raise awareness for the cause.
Getting into the act herself
To date, the students have raised more than $3,000 to help build the Hewitt Center for Breast Wellness in 2011 and to support its patients. But this year, the headmaster (or principal) herself is getting into the act.
“The students have been selling bracelets and pink T-shirts this month to raise money for the cause,” Smith said. “One of our student leaders had offered to raise the stakes for the effort by offering to dye his hair pink if the school raised $250, but at the last minute he had a change of heart. So, I decided it was time for me to step in.”
A Twitter challenge
Smith used Twitter to announce the challenge. With the tweet, the total raised increased from $200 to $500 in one day. If the students succeed in meeting their goal, Smith will find herself in the lobby of Shelton High on Friday morning, wearing a smock, and waiting for a group of students to transform her from a brunette to, well, “a rock star.”
Smith also commented that the school’s Friday night football game against Fairfield Prep will be broadcast on Connecticut Public Television, and she is committed to showing off her pink locks at the game if the fund-raising challenge is met.
‘Pinkifying’ the Valley
The Valley Goes Pink is a grassroots, community-wide effort throughout the Lower Naugatuck Valley — including Shelton — to create awareness about breast cancer and the importance of early detection, support The Hewitt Center for Breast Wellness at Griffin Hospital, and showcase partnering organizations.
Throughout October, Valley towns are invited to host unique fund-raising events and marketing programs to raise awareness and support for the cause. These include hosting Pink Parties in homes, “pinkifying” businesses with ribbons or lights, and hosting dress-down days and auctions.
For information on how to get involved, go to griffinhealth.org/pink.