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September 19, 2018

OMS Community Remembers Special Teacher, Fights Cancer


These members of the OMS faculty and staff decided to shave their heads as part of the fundraising effort. In front are: Rory Malone, Dan Rose and Mike Wilson. In back are: Ken Kern, Steve Cass, Jamie Sykut and Rocco Favuzzi.

These members of the OMS faculty and staff decided to shave their heads as part of the fundraising effort. In front are: Rory Malone, Dan Rose and Mike Wilson. In back are: Ken Kern, Steve Cass, Jamie Sykut and Rocco Favuzzi.

OSWEGO, NY – Recently, the Oswego Middle School’s faculty, staff and students came together for two big fundraisers in one night.

OMS student Garrett Dunsmoor raised the most money for an individual earned the right to start the head shaving experience of technology teacher Steve Cass.

OMS student Garrett Dunsmoor raised the most money for an individual earned the right to start the head shaving experience of technology teacher Steve Cass.

A dodgeball tournament was held in the gym. During halftime, several members of the faculty had their heads shaved.

Their efforts raised $1,083.80 for the Suzanne Basualdo Scholarship Fund and $309.05 to help support the fight against breast cancer.

Members of the OMS faculty and staff split into two teams (Blue and White) of about 10 players each for the special dodgeball contest.

Students packed the bleachers to root on their favorite team. Some students even painted their faces blue or white to show their loyalty.

Members of the Blue team stalk their prey in hopes of a victory.

Members of the Blue team stalk their prey in hopes of a victory.

After introducing the players on each team, Principal Bonnie Finnerty addressed the crowd.

“Now is the time to be serious, OMS. We’ve had a lot of fun so far tonight. The whole reason for tonight is very important,” she said. “The dodgeball tournament befitted the Suzanne Basualdo OMS Scholarship Fund; the head shaving is in support of the Oswego Middle School’s fight against breast cancer.”

OMS principal Bonnie Finnerty ties a bow into what is left of Ken Kern's hair.

OMS principal Bonnie Finnerty ties a bow into what is left of Ken Kern's hair.

Basualdo was one of the school’s very special special ed teachers, Finnerty said.

The teams competed in five three-minute games. The winner was determined by the number of players each team had left at the end of the three-minute rounds.

The white team jumped out to a 2-0 advantage with the blue team taking the third and fifth games.

The sixth match went white’s way as they boasted a 4-2 lead.

Game seven was for three points. The blue squad had a chance with a win to claim the tournament 5-4. White, however, could prove its dominance and win the tournament by a 7-2 margin.

The White team celebrates another convincing win.

The White team celebrates another convincing win.

In the end, the white team had the most players left and earned seven points for the tournament.

But, since the blue group had five players left, Finnerty awarded them five points and declared the event a draw at 7-7.

“I’m the principal so I can do that. I like it,” she said laughingly.

“Every year we do something for our scholarship fund,” explained Dan Rose, one of the event’s organizers.

They have done things like a wheelchair basketball game. This year they couldn’t do that because of the new gym floor, he noted.

Deb Sprague prepares to tackle the White team on her own after the rest of her squad was eliminated.

Deb Sprague prepares to tackle the White team on her own after the rest of her squad was eliminated.

“So we thought dodgeball would be fun. We did it for the Suzanne Basualdo Scholarship Fund; she just passed away this year.  The head shaving event was Steve Cass’ idea.”

The students donated money in support of the teacher they wanted to see get their heads shaved.

The head shaving event raised approximately $300.Hairdressers Beth Caraccio and Karen Caruso donated their time to assist with the fundraiser.

OMS student Garrett Dunsmoor raised the most funds and earned the right to take the first snips at Cass’ majestic locks.

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