ADAMS -- C.T. Plunkett Elementary School third-graders raised $500 last week to help support their teacher's two-year-old son, who suffers from a rare genetic disorder.
Third-grade teacher Jennifer Downey's young son, Colten, has been diagnosed with an illness called WAGR syndrome.
The funds were the result of a bake sale -- an idea first put forth by Natalie Pompi, daughter of Jill Pompi, a fifth-grade language arts and science teacher at the school.
Jill Pompi said for maximum traffic, the sale was held Thursday to coincide with parent-teacher conferences, but nobody expected the results they saw.
"Once some people found out what the sale was for, they ended up offering $10 or $20 for a 50 cent cookie," Pompi said. "[Natalie] was so excited."
Earlier, school staff hosted a spaghetti supper to benefit the Downey family. Many different medical specialists are seeking an effective treatment for the boy, Pompi said.
Thursday's effort saw parents bringing in trays of whoopie pies, jumbo cookies, scones, brownies and many other sweet treats as a gesture of solidarity. Students in the school also began a "Courage for Colten" club, and want to continue finding ways to help.
Pompi said Natalie has already twice donated her hair to locks of love, and plans to continue doing so.
"I'm very proud of her," Pompi said. "You think, ‘My goodness, I'm learning so much from my child.' "
-- Phil Demers