O’Banion MS students shave teacher’s head for charitable cause

Students at O'Banion Middle School recently received a special treat, courtesy of teacher Joshua Hopkins. The sixth-grade math instructor challenged students to raise money for Pennies for Patients, a program that benefits the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. But this year, Hopkins enticed students with an exciting reward—his head of hair.

If the Bisons could raise at least two dollars per student, he would allow them to shave his head. With a fun incentive on the line, students exceeded the original goal of $2,200 to raise more than $3,000.

Hopkins kept his promise, allowing the top donators to shave his head at an assembly May 12. The select group giggled and smiled while shearing locks of brown hair. Observers cheered and clapped while enjoying the special occasion produced by paying it forward.

“You have no idea how much time it takes Mr. Hopkins to get all that money, stay after school and divide it to try to encourage you guys to do a great thing,” expressed teacher Troy DeFeo. “You guys took the challenge—not just for this school, but for people who are struggling with cancer.”

Hopkins hopes to organize the fundraiser again next year, bringing fun and philanthropy to a new generation of Bisons.