GREAT FALLS — On Friday morning at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School, the students quietly gathered outside the building, trying to suppress giggles as they looked up to the building’s roof. Sitting on the roof was a full camping tent.
At 8:00 A.M., the children yelled out in unison, “Good morning, Mr. Diekhans”, as the principal of the school emerged from the tent.
This peculiar but fun situation came out of a successful school fundraiser, called the Lourde’s Walk.
“We have a walkathon every year,” Cody Diekhans, Principal of Our Lady of Lourdes said, “…It’s a walkathon just to raise money for the school. Since we are a private school, a big part of our income relies on donations.”
The staff was looking into fun ways to motivate students, and came across the idea of having the principal spend a night on the roof if the goal was hit.
“Our kids are pretty motivated,” Diekhans said, “They do good with fundraising and stuff. I kind of figured it'd be happening.”
The goal was to raise $45,000 for the school. When the walkathon was over, the students had raised $48,000. So, as promised, Diekhans climbed a latter to the roof of the school on Thursday night, and stayed there until 8:00 A.M.
“The night was all right,” Diekhans said, “You know, we have the one way there, so traffic was pretty noisy. It rained most of the night. Water was running onto the tent all night.”
For the students, the prize was well worth the effort. Everyone in the school was cheering and laughing as they heckled their principal for being stuck in the cold all night. As for Principal Diekhans, he is just lucky that the weekend is almost here.
“I'm feeling all right,” Diekhans said, “It's going to be a long Friday, but luckily it's Friday, so I'll have the weekend to sleep in.”