Saturday, March 28, 2009

There will be slime

The Nelson family of Yucca Mesa were the victims of a house fire earlier this month. From left are Yucca Mesa Elementary computer lab instructor Starr, sons Dalin and Jordan, dad Dave and son Harrison, a YMES student.

Principal gets feathered to help fire victims
By Rebecca Unger
Hi-Desert Star
Published: Saturday, March 28, 2009 1:57 AM CDT
It used to be a sign of disgrace, but for Yucca Mesa Elementary School principal Kyle Hannah, being tarred and feathered Friday was a badge of love and grace. The sticky event was a fund-raiser for the family of the school’s computer lab instructor, Starr Nelson. On the evening of March 11, the five-member Nelson family suffered a total loss when a fast-moving fire destroyed their home and everything in it. The school let the children decide between several staff members who should get drenched in chocolate syrup and upholstered with feathers. Donation canisters with the faculty names were put in the library during a recent book fair. Over $500 was raised for the Nelson family.

“And I won,” said Hannah.

On Friday afternoon, it was time to give the kids some bang for their big-hearted bucks. Students filled the play yard, chanting, “We will, we will slime you!” Then, to the blaring, heraldic “Rocky’s Theme,” Hannah charged out, high-fiving the cheering crowd. But they wanted more. They wanted to see something really gooey.

Assistant principal Matt Gay and several teachers took turns dousing the brave administrator with chocolate sauce. After buckets of brown muck, the Nelson family stepped up to pay their respects and dumped the large box of feathers on the properly slimed Hannah.

“Our community is just fantastic,” said the Yucca Mesa-raised principal. “Even with the times we’re in financially, people gave generously. I’m so pleased at how our school and the community pulled together.”

The Nelsons also have a long history on the Mesa. “David Nelson’s mom still drives the school bus,” said Hannah. “She was my school bus driver when I was a student here!”

Starr Nelson said her has a rental home to move into on Monday. She gave thanks to all those who have come forward to help them.

“The school, our friends, the community, even strangers, have all been so great,” she said. “It’s really heartwarming.”

David Nelson, who is assistant manager at Yucca Valley’s eastern Stater Bros.,” would go to work with chocolate shirt cuffs after Friday’s event, but he didn’t appear to mind, he said. “If something good could come from a fire that burns your house down, that ‘something good’ would have to be the blessings of the community.”

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