Joe Fugate, above, and Ashanta Robinson took pies
to the face in a fundraiser for the Katz-Stein family.
Lawn students take pie in face for fundraising event
Mills Lawn sixth-grader Ashanta Robinson always wanted to take a pie in
the face. And she knows how it feels to have a sick parent. So when the
Mills Lawn Student Council, of which shes president, sought a way
to raise money for Zac Katz-Steins dad, she volunteered as target
for a projectile pie.
Ashanta wasnt the only one who ended up with a nose full of Reddi-Wip
whipped cream. Her fellow Student Council officer Joe Fugate also got
pied two weeks ago at a fundraiser for the Katz-Stein family.
I think we did the right thing, Joe said about the event,
which netted $90 for the Katz-Stein family.
They also did a fun thing, and the event featured fifth and sixth graders
standing on tables in the schools cafeteria, whooping and
hollering, Mills Lawn Principal Christine Hatton said, as Tyler
Fox and Zac Castle, who drew winning tickets, aimed their tinfoil pie
plates at Ashanta and Joe, and let em rip.
It was cold, Joe said, afterwards.
It was kind of scary, said Ashanta.
It was inspiring, said Dan Katz-Stein, who is battling cancer, when he
learned of the event.
They took something that they cared about and they took action,
he said. Thats touching.
Most surprising, he said, is that his children, Zac, now a student at
the McKinney School, and Hana, a student at the Antioch School, never
attended Mills Lawn. But he coached Joe Fugate one year in soccer, and
his son and Joe have played soccer together for years.
They knew my kids through sports and just because were all
a part of the community, he said. It blew me away.
Also, what goes around, comes around. According to Hatton, Katz-Stein
volunteered his time several years ago to install more than 60 computers
at the school. After she told the students of his gift of time and skill,
they wanted to give something back.
This is our thank you, said Ashanta.
The fundraiser idea began about six weeks ago when the Student Council,
seeking a project, read in the Yellow Springs News about Katz-Steins
illness. First diagnosed with a brain tumor about seven years ago, he
underwent two major brain surgeries and seemed to have put his illness
behind him. But this fall a new tumor was discovered. Katz-Stein and his
wife, Abi, traveled in December to Boston for a third surgery, which removed
the tumor. However, the surgery was followed in January by a brain abscess,
which required another trip to Boston and another surgery.
Currently, Katz-Stein said, hes finishing off a round of antibiotics
to fight the infection, and then will probably begin chemotherapy.
The Katz-Stein kids situation held personal meaning for Ashanta,
whose mother, Jessie Wenzler, died of cancer two years ago.
Ive been in that situation, she said. I would
have liked it if someone did something like this.
Student Council members didnt expect their plan to catch fire, but
it did. For 5 cents, students could buy a vote for the Council member
they wanted to pie. Ashanta and Joe lobbied for votes they wanted
to get pied and watched in amazement as their peers brought in
$10 or $20 bills to buy votes for their favorite. Mostly, though, the
$90 grew from nickels, said Hatton, who explained that a Mills Lawn lunch
costs $1.85, so many students donated their change for votes.
Hatton offered to provide a pie target, too, if the kids raised $200.
But, she said, she didnt tell the teachers of her offer, for fear
theyd quickly raise the amount.
When all the votes came in, Ashanta and Joe tied for the honor of taking
the pie. So on the day of the event last month, they each wore a cardboard
covering that protected their clothes but not their faces. Tyler Fox and
Zach Castle won the draw for the honor of throwing the pies actually,
just Reddi-Wip in a tinfoil plate.
There was only one try, Ashanta said. Nobody missed.
It was cold and a bit scary, but they got to lick the pie pans. Now theyre
thinking about making the pie throw an annual event.
It was fun, said Ashanta. Id do it again.