PJ Day in West Hartford supports Connecticut children – We-Ha

West Hartford public school students, teachers and administrators donated to Connecticut Children’s Medical Center and in return were able to wear their pajamas for the day.

PJ Day at Hall High School. Courtesy photo

By Ronni Newton

Students and teachers at West Hartford Public Schools spent a day of school in their pajamas – and it was not a day of distance learning.

On Friday, December 10, the entire district (with the exception of Conard High School where the event was delayed for a week due to another fundraiser previously scheduled for that day) participated in PJ Day for the Kids, an annual fundraiser for Connecticut. Children’s medical center traditionally takes place on the second Friday in December.

PJ Day at Whiting Lane. Courtesy photo

Laura Nichols, a math professor at Hall, whose son received a room on the Connecticut Children’s oncology floor years ago when he had surgery, worked to expand the PJ Day fundraiser to all public schools in West Hartford five years ago, to focus on doing something positive and giving back. Rylie Dagnall, a childhood cancer survivor who graduated from Hall last June, organized West Hartford’s first PJ Day fundraiser, I’m 2014, when she was a student at King Philip Middle School, and worked on the ‘event with Nichols throughout his high school years.

Statewide, PJ Day for Kids is now in its 11th year. The fundraiser was originally started by Nick Wesoloskie from Coventry, CT, who, while in second grade, decided to do something for kids like his little sister, Charlotte – who struggled with cancer and is now cancer free.

Lindsay Bougor’s second year class at Bugbee on PJ Day. Courtesy photo

“He wanted to honor the survivors, those who are lost and those who are still fighting for their lives – in their pajamas – for days, weeks or more, ”Nichols said. “From the humble beginnings of a school in Coventry, raising $ 500 at a state-recognized school daytime awareness raising of more than $ 1.4 million in 10 years, PJ Day brings hope to children and families and inspires participants across the state. The incredible amount of funding PJDay provides, year after year, has changed the cancer care landscape and outcomes at Connecticut Children’s. At nearly half a million dollars a year – and growing – Connecticut Children’s is able to invest in research and care that is making real change for children battling cancer today and tomorrow.

This year’s goal was to raise $ 500,000 statewide.

PJ Day at Hall High School. Courtesy photo

The results of the 2021 fundraiser have not yet been finalized, but before this year, West Hartford Public Schools had raised a total of $ 67,000 since 2014. Last year the district raised 23,000 $.

“The efforts of West Hartford Public Schools have made us the premier school district in fundraising for the event in each of the past two years,” said Nichols.

PJ Day at Hall High School. Courtesy photo

Anyone who wants to wear their pajamas to school on PJ Day pays $ 1 or more for the privilege, but there are other fundraisers who are supporting the efforts as well. “In addition to what we collected on Friday, we raised money at the Hall football game against Conard (and split it 50/50), held two restaurant fundraising events (Chipotle & Harry’s Bishops Corner) and our business club, DECA, donated $ 5 for each pair of PJ pants they sold last week, ”said Amy Shaffer, co-ordinator of student activities and career center at Hall High School.

PJ Day at Hall High School. Courtesy photo

Nichols said she was excited not only by the funds raised but also by the increased level of participation this year. “Schools and families are now looking forward to this annual event and the participation of students and staff has been exceptional. This increased participation educates and educates our student body about humanitarianism, which in my opinion is as important as the fundraising itself.

She thanked the building coordinators, who organize the event in each school, for their key role in the overall success.

Donations can always be made to the West Hartford Public Schools team at this link: PJDay for Kids – WHPS Team Donation Page as well as by scanning the QR code below.

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PJ Day at Whiting Lane. Courtesy photo

PJ Day at Hall High School. Courtesy photo

PJ Day at Hall High School. Courtesy photo

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