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Winfair students raise more than $6,500 for Relay Recess

Principal Wayland Denny prepares to kiss a pig Thursday to mark Winfair students’ raising of more than $6,500 for Relay Recess. (Erin Trester/Daily Globe)

WINDOM — Unseasonably chilly temperatures didn’t stop students, teachers and staff from participating Thursday in this year’s Relay Recess at Winfair Elementary School in Windom.

The relay, which raises funds for the American Cancer Society, was postponed last week due to poor weather conditions. On Thursday, participants braved cold to celebrate the school’s accomplishments.

This is the third year Winfair has participated in Relay Recess. The school exceeded its goal of $6,000 for the American Cancer Society by raising $6,668, $700 more than last year.

Winfair students also achieved a notable honor of not only being the No. 1 school in the state for funds raised during Relay Recess, but No. 1 among schools in the Midwest Relay Recess district.

“They started fundraising April 1, so I think they’ve raised a lot of money in a short amount of time,” said Mary Theesfeld, a teacher at Winfair Elementary and a Relay Recess committee member. “I think the kids have been really motivated by principal (Wayland) Denny.”

Students have sold paper feet, which are on display throughout Winfair in honor of someone battling cancer or in memory of someone who lost their life to the disease.

“Last year we almost raised $6,000, and so this year it was our goal to finally meet that mark,” said Diane Sykera, a special education teacher.

As part of the Relay Recess celebrations, Denny had fun rewards for the students when they reached a certain dollar amount goal.

“When we reached the $2,000 mark, Principal Denny had a whipped cream pie to the face,” Sykera said. “Then, when we reached the $4,000 mark, Principal Denny promised students he would wear a dress all day and sing ‘Let It Go’ from ‘Frozen.’ Now that we’ve reached the $6,000 goal, Principal Denny has to kiss a pig.

“It’s just a fun-loving event, and the kids get a real kick out of it,” she added.

Denny put kissing a pig in front of the entire school in his own perspective.

“It can’t be any worse than dressing up like a woman and singing ‘Let it Go,’” he said, laughing.

The top fundraiser was second-grader Maddie Alvstad, who raised $280. In second place was kindergartner Logan Hanson, who raised $275. Third place went to third-grader Mckenna McNamre, who garnered $118.

Daily Globe Reporter

Erin Trester may be reached

at 376-7322.

Erin Trester
Erin Trester is the crime and city reporter for the Daily Globe. She's a native of Lewiston, MN, but moved to Buffalo, NY to attend college and obtained her bachelor's degree in Communications. She started at the Western New York Catholic Newspaper as a reporter in Buffalo, but in October 2013 she returned to her home state to start with the Daily Globe. Most of her spare time is taken up by her 13-year-old thoroughbred named Faith, but some of her other hobbies include reading, fishing and spending time with friends and family. 
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