April Showers brings many dollars at Hickory High School

Apr. 26—HERMITAGE — As some of Hickory High School's students ran through a spray of cold water Thursday afternoon, they did so not because of sunny skies or high temperatures — especially since it was cloudy and about 50 degrees.

The students, who were sprayed down by a truck from the Hermitage Fire Department, participated in the school's annual April Showers fundraiser, which collected donations for the Special Olympics of Pennsylvania.

"It costs $10 to run through the water, and some of the students raised more than that," said teacher Laura Mount, a coach with the school's unified bocce team and an adviser with Students for Charity.

This year, Hickory's students were joined by students and staff from Greenville Jr.-Sr. High School.

This year's unified bocce team has about 50 students, with athletes from Hickory and Greenville, Mount said.

April Showers has been a tradition at Hickory High School since 2020, when the Special Olympics' annual Polar Plunge fundraiser near Pittsburgh was cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Special Olympics organizers encouraged school district officials to instead come up with smaller-scale fundraisers, ultimately leading to April Showers.

About $1,500 in donations was collected before the event this year, and an ice cream social was also organized to raise additional money, Mount said.

The Community Foundation of Western Pennsylvania and Eastern Ohio will match the funds raised, which could mean a windfall of about $3,000 for Special Olympics.

This year's top supporters was the girls softball team, Mount said.

The funds will help Special Olympics officials purchase uniforms and supplies, such as PVC pipe to make the court.

"One hundred percent of everything we collect goes to the Special Olympics," Mount said.

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