School’s final charity fundraiser looks easy as pie

DOVER — Fifth-grader Silas Sheranko had a plan for his pies.

“The first one, I just wanted to throw it,” Sheranko said. “Then I wanted to get it on her face next, hug her and rub it all over her back.”

The 11-year-old’s target was St. John’s School Principal Dr. Dina Vendetti.

She was adorned in a yellow Ronald McDonald costume complete with oversized red shoes and nose, overgrown frizzy hair and a really white face contrasted by dark lips.

On a beautifully warmish, sunny day, the school celebrated conclusion of its annual fundraiser that raised $2,257.48.

The proceeds will fund a future family’s monthlong stay at a Ronald McDonald House near their hospitalized child receiving treatment for a serious medical issue.

The annual event has funded a variety of charities since 2003, contributing over $75,000 to benefit society as a whole.

For half an hour or so, nearly 25 smiling, giggling students experienced the joy of tossing small pies — filled with shaving cream to save money — into their principal’s face.

Not all hit the mark, so Dr. Vendetti was also covered with foamy white stuff from her hips to hair, front and back.

Prior to the fun, Dr. Vendetti stood in front of the school waving while to vehicles and doing her best Ronald McDonald impression. She’s dressed as a pig, chicken, Little Bo Peep, jockey on a horse, llama and more through the years.

Apparently the 2019 costume stood out more than the rest.
“So far today this has been the most popular costume of all,” Dr. Vendetti said. “I’ve had more honks, yells and waves than I can ever remember. Only a few have pretended I’m not really here.”
Some passed by on foot and couldn’t miss Ronald. Some took selfies and one kid handed a Flat Stanley cutout for a photo.
“Mostly everyone have been good sports,” Dr. Vendetti said. “They’re laughing, taking selfies, pictures, pointing and telling their kids to look over at Ronald.”
For Tara Surowiec, the outing typified what the Lutheran school — closing permanently due to low enrollment after the last class on June 7 — instills in the children.

“My daughter was so excited that she emptied her entire piggy bank on the last day (of the fundraiser),” Ms. Surowiec said.

“It’s what St. John’s School is all about — giving something to someone in need and then celebrating it.

“It gives the kids opportunity to look outside themselves.”
Fourth-grader Olivia Christensen was feeling the purpose as well.

“It’s about having fun and getting money to people who need it,” Olivia said. “Also, it looks pretty cool to see my principal there in costume.”

Said Ronald McDonald House Kent-Sussex Advancement Officer Jan Shallcross, who received an oversized check from the school, “Every one loves Dina, Dina is a team leader.

“For Dina to put on a Ronald McDonald outfit to benefit the Ronald McDonald House is icing on the cake.”

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