Search This Site
News :: 'Where John Counts:' Tilford rallies around custodian facing cancer battle
· 4:02pm December 12th, 2012
Tilford Elementary students will gather next Friday to watch a yet-to-be-named staff member kiss a pig.
They will laugh hysterically and fill the school auditorium with delightful screams.
But the students and teachers know there is a serious reason for the pig-kissing and all of the other special events taking place.
They are doing it for John -- John Scriven, the Tilford custodian who has been diagnosed with Stage IV liver cancer.
With T-shirt sales, donations from friends and family, and sponsorships from ClickStop and Tharp Design, Tilford teachers and students have already raised more than $2,250 for Scriven's expenses, said Sarah Mathis, one of the Tilford staff members organizing the event.
There will be a special assembly at 12:30 p.m. next Friday, Dec. 21. The students earn a vote for each $25 dollars they raise. Those votes will decide which staff member or teacher gets to kiss the pig. Students who raise $10 will receive a colorful "No one fights alone" bracelet. Those who raise $50 or more will earn a T-Shirt. Anyone can also purchase a T-shirt for $10 each. While black shirts are available, for the public, special white ones are being made for Tilford students who can raise $50 or more.
The students will earn special days including Hat Day Pajama Day as rewards for reaching specific goals. Organizers set a goal of $7,000 for the school fund-raiser.
For more information, contact Tilford Elementary. Click below for T-shirt order forms, which should be submitted to the school by Friday, Dec. 14.
Below is a copy of the letter sent to students' families, which contains more information about John's routine as a custodian as well as the fund-raising efforts
Dear Family and Friends of Tilford Elementary Students:
Happy Holidays! It’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving is behind us and Christmas is not that far ahead of us.
We’d like to tell you about a special Holiday project that we are doing at Tilford and ask you for your help. Our custodian, John Scriven has been diagnosed with Stage 4 Liver Cancer. Currently staff members have been delivering him meals, helping with Fall clean-up, and doing a variety of other things. Beginning in December we’ll begin a fundraising drive for John, asking our students and staff to collect money to help defray some of his medical costs.
John has been our custodian since Tilford Middle School became Tilford Elementary in the fall of 2007. Now I know you all know how difficult it is to keep your own home picked up with kids around but imagine the task of being responsible for 500 kids. John took a lot of pride keeping Tilford sparkling not to mention safe for students and staff. John had a schedule for doing things: on Tuesday’s he washed all the door windows, Thursday’s meant emptying all the recycling containers. Every day at 1 o’clock you could find him in the lunchroom sweeping and mopping from lunch. In the morning he faithfully scrubbed and sanitized our bathrooms (You really don’t want to know how many toilets that is!). In the winter he shoveled snow, in the summer he waxed the floors. Whatever any staff member asked of him he was always tried and true in response – do it right, and do it quickly. John always has a smile and a quip for you, usually about the Iowa Hawkeyes, or how much toilet paper elementary students go through in a week!
Now its our turn to give back – and it’s the perfect time of year to do so. We set a goal of raising $7,000 dollars and we know it’s a lofty one, but together we can accomplish it. We are putting all of our normal fundraisers on hold just for this year so we can focus on John! We have some all school activities planned as the kids raise $1500, $3000, $5000, and then $7000. Each student that raises $10 will be given a bracelet that says, ”No One Fights Alone”. For each $25 dollars raised the student will get a vote in the “Kiss a Pig” contest. (Please encourage your kids to mark Mr. Murray’s name on that ballot!) If a student raises $50 they will earn a t-shirt. Most of our Tilford t-shirts say Tilford Elementary – Where Character Counts. We are changing the theme of our shirts to say, Tilford Elementary – Where John Counts! These t-shirts will also be available for purchase with the proceeds going towards our total.
During the holidays we hear and see many things about caring and giving to others. We’ll make sure that our students can talk about John, the things he did for us, and why its important to help out someone in need. We ask you to make sure that your student only approaches people that they know and participation is decided by you the parents. We are sending home collection envelopes and slips of paper to give out when donations are given. We’d like to have our drive wrapped up before Christmas so please have your envelopes turned back in by December 19.
As always, thank-you for your kindness and support. Any questions feel free to call or email any of the teachers below! Happy Holidays!
Vikes of the Week: Shelby Arp, Jessica Alderson
Area Lions Club, keeping an eye on the eyes