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  • Writer's pictureRoger Sims

Jayhawk Elementary students raise $14K for heart challenge

Updated: Apr 25

Jayhawk Elementary School first-grader Bentley Cummings dumps about a gallon of "slime" over the head of physical education teacher Ryan Metcalf during a celebration of students at the school raising about $14,000 for the KIds Heart Challenge. Metcalf was flanked by new JES principal Russ Hermreck, left, and Manny Garcia from Jayhawk-Linn High School.

Story and photos by Roger Sims,

For nearly an hour they cheered, hooted, and clapped every time a cup was dumped over someone’s head.

Every time.

And even though they had seen more that 11 dozen cups of “slime” dumped on the heads of three men sitting in chairs on the gym floor at Jayhawk Elementary School, they still cheered and clapped for the last cup with the same enthusiasm that greeted the first.

Before the sliming the three slimees gathered for a before photo. They included, from left, Russ Hermreck, Manny Garcia, and Ryan Metcalf. Below, on the back of Metcalf's t-shirt was a suggestion that at least a few students followed.

It would be safe to say that if Jayhawk students were learning a lesson on slime on Friday, April 12, no one would be daydreaming or bored.

The students had a reason to be excited. They were celebrating raising about $14,000 for the Kid Heart Challenge, which is sponsored by the American Heart Association. It is the fifth year in a row that the school has participated, and over those five years students and their families have raised more than $44,000.

JES physical education teacher Ryan Metcalf has been point man in encouraging students to raise money. He was also the “slimee“ that students most enjoyed dousing with the green-colored liquid (which, off the record, was hair conditioner).

This year he was joined by Russ Hermreck, who will begin his employment as the school’s new principal next fall, and Manny Garcia, who works at the high school.

Second-grader Piper Johnson went for the double-cup sliming technique over the head of Metcalf. She raised the second most money for the challenge.

Current principal Mark Proffitt, who is retiring at the end of this school year, was emcee for the event.

As the sliming got under way, students in each class who had raised $100 or more were called onto the gym floor. Each was allowed to dump one cup of slime on the person of their choosing for every $100 they raised.

After receiving a medal for his work in raising the most money for the challenge, Bentley's family and Melissa Rock, second from left, a representative from the American Heart Association posed for a photo. Family members included Angie Cummings, Bentley, 4-year-old August, and Colt Cummings.

First-grader Bentley Cummings was the top fundraiser. He and his family raised $1,582, enough to earn him 15 cups of slime.

Second-grader Piper Johnson was the second highest fundraiser. She and her family raised $1,050, enough for 10 cups.

JES students filled the bleachers in the gym, clapping and yelling as their fellow students slimed the three men seated on the blue tarp.

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