Carol Tousley was already in the Sacred Heart Catholic School office when Jodi McLimans, Sheila Bryan, Deb Howard and Carolyn Spence came in, each pulling a bit of Thursday’s cold in behind them.
The wind chill was 6 degrees, which was at least warmer than the 10 below it was at about 6:30 a.m.
“When’s the tutu challenge?” Spence asked Principal Julie Woods.
The principal had challenged every class to sell one box of chocolate candy bars by Dec. 15. She pointed to the dwindling stockpile beneath a shelf in the office. There appears to be a tutu in the principal’s future, and even a little dancing.
“I won’t be singing,” she said, adding “no one wants that.”
Yes, it’s a fundraiser, but Woods issued the challenge to her students to give them something fun to focus on. The school’s future is the topic of upcoming public meetings.
The five women representing Positively Oelwein brought with them T-shirts emblazoned with “Husky Pride” to give to this year’s class of fifth-graders.
Woods would not let them go upstairs right away, however. She needed a password of sorts. She needed to know the theme for this year’s Olde Tyme Christmas. Last year, students got to ride in a Santa Maria ship float in the Lighted Parade through downtown, and they decorated a tree for the Festival of Trees.
The school staff apparently is anxious to get ready.
“The Magic of Christmas,” Spence said, and the crew went upstairs.
The delivery of T-shirts is an annual tradition meant to inspire pride in the children for their hometown. After Sacred Heart, the Positively Oelwein crew went to Oelwein Middle School. In the first visit, they brought in a handful of shirts, in the second, they hauled in a box with at least 86.
Teachers had given Positively Oelwein the shirt sizes needed for all fifth-graders to get a shirt.
“We’re here to give you those shirts,” Howard told the Sacred Heart students. “We want you to be good citizens in our community, and we want you to cheer on the Huskies. Can you do that?”
The first cheer “Go, Huskies” was OK, but Spence said she thought they could do better. The second cheer bounced through the halls.
At the middle school, Spence explained the yearly tradition and said, “We want you to be proud members of our community and cheer for the Huskies every chance you get.”
The first cheer was full, but the second was ear-splitting.
“Perfect!” Spence said.
The students plan to wear their new T-shirts today.