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Hermantown Rallies for Alum Battling Brain Tumor

March 16, 2017 01:07 PM

Hundreds of Hermantown students wore hats of all colors, shapes and designs to classes on Wednesday.

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"We all just choose a hat. It's fun to wear silly ones," said Alexis Wiese, an 8th grader at the school. "It was really cool to see kids step up and wear a hat." 

It was for the school district's Hat Day - a fundraiser to raise money for a fellow Hawk, Mike Anderson.

"I first met Mike when he was a younger guy. I was a little older. We met through hockey, and when I was in high school, he was at the rink every single weekend," said Patrick Andrews, a social studies teacher and friend of Mike's.

Anderson graduated from Hermantown in 2002. In 2015, he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Andrews says he fought it well for a while, but in Februray it came back.

"He was just a real genuinely awesome person. Obviously, this is horrible when it happens to anyone but if you knew Mike and what just a kind, gentle soul he is, it makes it that much harder," said Andrews.

Mike's wife, a teacher at the middle school, along with a group of staff and students came up with the Hat Day fundraiser.

"We started out as just the middle school doing it because Mrs. Anderson works here," said Wiese.

But it wasn't long before the whole district got on board.

"The students love it because they get to wear hats and we just encourage them to bring a dollar, five or ten or twenty," said Andrews.

"A lot of kids ending up donating more than one dollar so they support more and give more to him," said Wiese.

For Andrews, it's in those times of need that school spirit shines brightest.

"Hawks fly together. It's kind of a motto of the school and it seems pretty cliché, but it's true. It's been my experience when people are down and out in this community, people try to step in and help them out," said Andrews.

Officials say this was the most successful Hat Day that they've had. If anyone wants to help out the cause, they can also donate through Mike's GoFundMe.


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