December 22, 2016
By Bonnie OlsonThe Brillion News
BRILLION – On Friday, December 16, Brillion Middle School celebrated Schwanny Day in honor of a beloved teacher who is currently battling Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
Mr. Schwantes, a 7th grade teacher, was diagnosed at the end of September. Since that time, he has been away from school focusing on battling this disease with chemotherapy treatments every few weeks.
The staff and students wanted to show their support for Mr. Schwantes. That is how Schwanny Day evolved. Students and staff donned their purple and green Schwanny t-shirts and participated in various activities.
Schwanny Day began with an all school kickoff assembly. Mr. and Mrs. Schwantes informed students of his current care and prognosis, citing December 28 as the next important milestone. On December 28, he will undergo his next PET scan which will tell his oncologist if the cancer is still present along with where it is located. From that determination, further treatment options will be discussed.
The Schwanny Day idea began as a way to support a great teacher and colleague and evolved into a way to also support a couple of great causes. With the sale of t-shirts, Brillion Middle School was able to raise more than $3,000. On Schwanny Day, they awarded $1,500 to both our local Brillion Sting Cancer group and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Wisconsin.
During this fundraising effort, students could earn prizes based on fundraising levels. Any student who purchased a t-shirt for $10 also received 40 minutes of free gym time on Schwanny Day. Students who raised $50 or more got to play games with Mr. Schwantes and attend gym time.
Students who raised $100 or more got to play games, attend gym time, and go out to lunch with Mr. Schwantes on Schwanny Day. These activities comprised the remainder of the morning of December 16.
Brillion Public Schools is focusing on four commitments that enhance and make up the school culture we are trying to promote. The Schwanny Day activities certainly promoted the commitment of Building Community within our building.
The students pulled together to make this day a success. It also displayed the commitment of Take Care. By showing support to Mr. Schwantes, we are taking care of one of our own, someone we care deeply about and want to see back at school very soon.
This story appeared in the December 22, 2016 edition of The Brillion News.