Categorized | Education & Safety, News

Bringing Home the Bacon

By Thomas Sellers Jr.
MES Go Jim Go Check MES Go Jim Go Jim Jaggers MES Go Jim Go Ms. V KissAs the excitement in the Munford Elementary Gymnasium began to settle down, the school’s guidance counselor Yamina Tunstall stepped to the podium for one more announcement.
The morning was already filled with good news with the school presenting a check for $3,794.15 to Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital on behalf of Go Jim Go. So when Tunstall announced that it was time for Munford Elementary Principal Varissa “Ms. V” Richardson had to pay up on a bet. The school’s original goal was to raise $2,000 for the charity.
Richardson declared if the students, teachers and parents hit that total, she would kiss a pig. About 8:30 a.m., it was time for Ms. V to pay up.
Enter a little squeaking pig. A reluctant Richardson puckered up and gave the piggie a peck behind the ear to all the children’s delight.
“She kissed that pig,” Tunstall said. “Ms. V has been so great throughout all of this. So she kept her word because the school did such an excellent job.”
Even News Channel 3 meteorologist and Go Jim Go’s Jim Jaggers had to laugh at Richardson’s kiss of the pig. Before that closing moment, Jaggers expressed his gratitude to the students for raising so much money for Le Bonheur.
“We set a goal for $2,000,” Tunstall recalled. “We chart it day by day. The first day we raised $106. But the second day we came out with $470.40. Then on our last day we raised $1,000. The students really got into it. The teachers really got into it. It became so competitive.”
The fund raising took place Feb. 1-12 using Valentine’s Day as inspiring for the paper hearts. Tunstall said it took team to make this year’s charity event a success. Jaggers informed the students Munford Elementary’s efforts made it a top 3 school in West Tennessee.
The longtime weatherman asked the assembly of children the question, ‘How many of you have been to LeBonheur?’
Several hands went to the air including some of the adults in attendance. LeBonheur Children’s Hospital is a 255-bed, tertiary care children’s hospital located in Downtown Memphis. LeBonheur has more than 700 medical staff representing 40 pediatric specialties.
“It was a really, really good things,” Tunstall said. “And a lot of the kids talked to me about their experiences at LeBonheur. They have helped a lot of our kids. And we even have some kids who are patients right now at LeBonheur. It benefits everybody.”
The public relations department of LeBonheur assisted Tunstall throughout the process. The Memphis native was glad to help the area’s children hospital and see the generosity of residents in Tipton County in just two weeks.
“I didn’t expect us to do this well,” Tunstall concluded. “This is very exciting and I’m very happy. The kids enjoyed it and I’ve received positive feedback to do this again next year.”

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