Students tape principal to wall as part of fundraiser

Immanuel Lutheran School students achieved what many students have always dreamed of doing — duct taping their principal to a wall.

It was all for a good cause.

To help the Immanuel Cancer Fighters Relay for Life team meet its goal of $3,500, students at the Seymour school could buy strips of paper to tape Principal Todd Behmlander to the wall of the gymnasium.

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“I think it’s fun. I wish all teams would do stuff like this to get kids involved,” said Melissa Rebber, who is involved with Relay for Life of Jackson County.

All of the school’s students gathered in the gym for Thursday’s event. Even those who didn’t have money to donate were allowed to watch and laugh at the activity.

The students also sold tape for $1 per strip, and they were allowed to take the tape and place it on their principal.

Behmlander stayed still until he was completely taped to the wall, and then he broke free, throwing the tape about.

“This is what we hope to do to cancer,” he said to the laughing and cheering student body.

Behmlander took the event with enthusiasm and a good sense of humor.

“He was a good sport about it,” said Charlie Smith, a seventh-grade teacher at the school and leader of the Relay for Life team.

Smith said the team had about 60 members help with the fundraiser, and they will continue to collect money leading up to Relay for Life on May 5 at Seymour Middle School.

“It’s an activity for the community that is a good example of Christian values that they can do with their friends,” Smith said.

Immanuel sixth-graders Emma Wichman and Olivia Smith were among the volunteers helping Smith run the fundraiser.

Olivia took pictures, and Emma collected money.

Emma said she liked seeing her principal duct-taped to the wall.

“I think it’s funny,” she said.

The two girls have been involved in the team’s other activities to raise money, which have included selling hot chocolate, dress-down days, selling snacks at sporting events and others.

Charlie Smith said the students have been motivated to help.

“A lot of the kids have known someone who has had cancer,” he said.

Anyone is welcome to attend Relay for Life, which will run from 6 p.m. to midnight May 5. This year’s theme is “Lights! Camera! Relay for a Cure!”

Participants do not need teams, but Rebber said having teams can provide more events.

“We just like people to be on teams because they do more fun stuff if you are on one,” she said.

At a glance

Relay for Life of Jackson County is set for 6 p.m. to midnight May 5 at Seymour Middle School.

To get involved with the event, contact event leadership team leader Melissa Rebber at 812-216-2024 or jmrebber@hotmail.com or ACS community manager Melissa Pressler at mpressler@cancer.org or 317-440-8851.

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Aaron Piper is a photographer and reporter for The (Seymour) Tribune. He can be reached at apiper@tribtown.com or 812-523-7057.