“Now remember, this is a one-time thing. You are NOT to do this again. Am I clear?” said TJ principal Bob Palermo, giving fifth grade student Hunter Hicks a stern stare.
Hunter returned a solemn nod but couldn’t suppress his grin as he reached for the lever and pulled. That’s when the alarm began to blare.
Hunter was the lucky winner of the TJ Fire Alarm Pull, a highly coveted auction item at this year’s Falls Church Education Foundation Gala.
“It was more complicated than I thought it would be,” said Hunter of this pinnacle moment of his four-year career at Thomas Jefferson. “The loud, blaring noise was startling even though I knew it was coming.”
The alarm pull, along with principal for the day, are a couple of ways the schools themselves help bring in funds for the Foundation. Funds raised through the auction go toward the Foundation’s Super Grant program and support other efforts to ensure all Falls Church City students have what they need to succeed. This year’s Gala netted more than $115,000 for the Foundation – which will goes back into the schools and students and to support Foundation operations.
The best part about pulling the fire alarm? “Getting to tell everyone waiting out on the playground that I’m the one who did it.”