Educators going bald to benefit firefighters’ families

17 Jan

Sue Clark

Three Webster educators have pledged to go completely bald a few weeks from now, if they can raise $5,000 for a very worthy cause.

Webster Thomas vice principal Sue Clark, Thomas librarian Trish Warren, and Webster Schroeder vice principal Jeremy McBride will all go under the razor on Saturday, February 9, during halftime of a Thomas vs. Schroeder faculty benefit basketball game.  But it will only happen if they can raise $5,000 before the game, which will then be donated to the families of fallen firefighters Tomasz Kaczowka and Michael Chiapperini.

The decision to go hairless for the cause was actually Clark’s idea. It’s her personal way of paying it forward for an incredible gift her family received eight years ago.

In 2004 her husband Rick was fighting a losing battle with Fabry Disease, a rare kidney ailment, and needed a transplant. Lynn Early, one of Sue Clark’s teaching colleagues, offered to donate one of hers. Six months later, Rick Clark had a new kidney and has enjoyed good health ever since.  Ever since that day, Clark has been looking for a way to thank her friend for that extraordinary gift.

Trish Warren

The perfect opportunity to do that – to pay it forward – came out of the tragic events of Christmas Eve, when Kaczowka and Chiapperini were shot and killed when responding to a fire.

“This idea of paying it forward is very important to me,” Clark said. “Giving my husband a kidney was a huge act of kindness. There is no way to repay someone for that. (Lynn) simply said to me that someday I would know when it was my turn to do something for somebody else.”

“She was right.  Now is the time.”

Almost $2,000 has been raised so far, partly through small cash donations students and staff members have stuffed in boots located in the school libraries and main offices.  Educators from around the state have also sent larger checks.

Jeremy McBride

Still, there’s a long way to go and only a few weeks to raise the money. If you’re interested in donating, you can send a check in care of the WTHS Student Council, 800 Five Mile Line Road, Webster, NY 14580.



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