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With a year’s worth of college bragging rights on the line Saturday, Nov. 30, in South Carolina, Tigers and Gamecocks have broken out their battle colors.
For the Clemson faithful, it’s orange and white. University of South Carolina fans are covered in garnet and black.
But at North Elementary School, the shades of choice for this week were those four, along with pink and white.
Just ask assistant principal Cory Hyslop and physical education teacher Justin Campbell.
The pair donned pretty in pink and white tutus Monday after the school collected 1,715 cans in the school’s annual food drive.
“They look like models,” said a laughing Jacob Whitfield when Mrs. Huckabee’s class passed them in the hallway.
“They look so funny,” said Gracie Catoe. “They could be trying to sell tutus.”
This is the most the school’s annual food drive has ever collected, said NES principal Keishea Mickles.
They started the drive about three weeks ago. Collection boxes decorated in Clemson and USC designs were set up in crossing hallways at the school where students could drop off cans to show their support.
She said once the count was close to 1,100, they challenged the students to try to exceed 1,200. As motivation, Hyslop and Campbell were urged to show a little of their feminine sides if that goal could be reached.
“We could tell it was looking like we were going to make it,” Mickles said. “They really showed up.”
So did Hyslop and Campbell. On a day that was colder than usual, their attire was a hit Monday morning on the school traffic loops.
“The car line was quite interesting. One first grader asked me if I gave away my man side,”said Campbell, shaking his head.
“My career in the Lancaster County School District might be short once Dr. Moore sees this. I might be in deep trouble,” Hyslop said laughing.
The official food drive score was Clemson 984, South Carolina 731.
Mickles, who has been at the Normandy Road school for 15 years, said this is the first time the Tigers have won.
“You know, I’m a USC fan,” she said. “I hope this isn’t an indicator of how the football game goes Saturday.”
The big winner through all the football-themed fun was HOPE in Lancaster. A faith-based, nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization, HOPE provides short-term emergency assistance to local families in crisis.
“We’re so appreciative of the items collected at North. The students did an outstanding job,” said Ann Blackmon, acting co-executive director for HOPE in Lancaster.
“Because of their willingness to give, many people in Lancaster in need of food will be able to feed their families this holiday season.”
Given that, Hyslop said the diva-dressing dare was one he will gladly take on again. He said he has faith in the North students.
“Hey, 1,700 cans? Yes, it was worth it. I say we’ll make 2,000 next time,” Hyslop said.
Contact Greg Summers at (803) 283-1156