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Fellow students of Jordan DuPriest (background, right) wore hats to Courtland Elementary School on Friday.
By CATHY DYSON
Jordan DuPriest's campaign, Hats on Against Cancer, raised more than $3,000 for research of childhood cancer--and money is still coming in.
Jordan, a fifth-grader at Courtland Elementary School in Spotsylvania County, has been coping with a brain tumor for a year. Between intensive chemotherapy treatments and radiation, she lost her hair and wears a hat to school.
Several students commented they thought that was cool, since hats typically aren't allowed under school policy. So Jordan, who wanted to come up with a fundraiser to help other children facing what she's dealt with, asked Principal Sherri Steele if students could wear hats to school on Friday if they made a donation.
Students brought their quarters, and staff members chipped in dollar bills for the chance to wear straw hats, fedoras and baseball caps of practically every team, college and race-car driver.
Brothers Kyle and A.J. Ernandes stood out in the Cougar Cub crowd. They wore hats and white gloves from the Air Force Academy. Both had been to a relative's graduation and scampered on the field--at the invitation of the academy--to pick up hats after cadets tossed them in the air.
First-grade teacher Amy Lutz, a big fan of the storybook character Arthur the aardvark, had Arthur headbands on hand in case students forgot to wear hats on Friday. She wasn't surprised that so many of the students and the adults who've watched Jordan battle cancer joined the effort.
"This is a tight-knit crew," Lutz said.
Principal Steele was amazed that the total surpassed $3,000 "from everybody bringing in a little bit. I think it's incredible," she said.
Jordan, 10, and her family will be the beneficiaries of a motorcycle event Sunday in Warsaw. The fifth annual Josh Baughan Ride-In will take place at the Rappahannock Church of Christ. Services are at 8:30 and 11 a.m., and all donations collected will be given to the DuPriest family. More information is available at RCofC.org.
Cathy Dyson: 540/374-5425