It started with water, flour, green Jello powder and some baby shampoo.
And an $8,000 proposition.
“We were told if the kids raised $8,000 we would do slime and I said ‘Heck yeah, I’m all about that,’” said Long Branch Elementary School Resource Officer Nick Parrish.
Little did he know, for kids inspired by an incentive, even a goal as challenging as raising $8,000 as a part of the school’s fundraiser is not too big.
So they doubled it.
“The fundraiser was a huge success,” LBES principal Jane Mullinax said. “As of [Friday] morning, we raised a little over $19,000. That is huge. In the past, we would potentially raise about half of that amount.”
This meant a number of incentives for the kids, mostly at the expense of their beloved Deputy Parrish.
“So then I guess it was a couple of days later I said, ‘You know what? If they get $10,000 I’ll shave LC in my head,’” Parrish said. “Low and behold they got $10,000 very quickly...It amazes me how much the kids have actually raised. It was fun, I enjoyed it.”
Mullinax touted Parrish for his willingness to volunteer for the betterment of the school and the kids.
“[When] Mr. Gerrells, our Assistant Principal, was thinking about various ways we could encourage the students and their families to donate money, slime was mentioned as a possibility,” she said. “Deputy Parrish happened to be standing close by and volunteered to be slimed. Deputy Parrish is such a great team player. … Much to our excitement, we crushed both goals and Parrish was slimed and he has proudly walked around with a giant LC on the back of his head.”
Besides getting to slime their SRO, the students participated in a Fun Run, which the fundraiser was anchored around with the idea that students could collect pledges of money to be given per lap during the fun run. The Fun Run aspect added a new thrill to the fundraiser.
“After the students ran and participated in the Fun Run, many of the kids shared that they had such a great time and they couldn't believe they could run so much,” Mullinax said. “Several of them told us we should do it again. With previous fundraisers, the student would sell items like gift wrap and such. With the Boosterthon Fun Run, the kids had an experience of running and having fun with their friends. I think the kids will remember this day for a long time.”
The fundraiser helps the school fund both necessities and fun incentives for the students’ hard work.
“This money will enable us to provide some exciting rewards for our students along with some books and additional teaching supports for our staff,” Mullinax said. “We are in awe at the amount that was raised to help our school. The donations came from 27 different states and three different countries, so I guess it is safe to say that people all over the world love our school.”
Mullinax is grateful for the ongoing support of the school from the community.
“We are so very blessed to live in such a supportive and generous part of the world,” she said. “Our community has always been super supportive of our efforts and this fundraiser is just another way that proves how much our area believes in us and our schools. Long Branch is an amazing school and so thankful for everyone's generosity.”
As for Parrish, knowing the impact that he had, both on the funds raised and the students’ happiness, just confirms his purpose with the school.
“It just solidifies why I’m here. It’s not just a security position. It’s to interact with the kids and build that relationship,” he said. “Especially with the culture we’re in now and the way people look at law enforcement, for me, I get them at such a young age that I can help mend those fences, build that relationship so that way if they ever do need us when they become adults, they’re not terrified or afraid. They’ll approach a cop.”